Saturday, March 23, 2013

Growing Up

While I was still in my Mom's womb, my parents bought their first home in Clearfield. As I recall, they paid $6,000 for this home. It was a small house with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The laundry room, fruit room and my Dad's workshop were all downstairs. There were hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms with tile in the bathroom. I don't remember the kitchen floor, but I do remember it was an eat in kitchen (which are sometimes referred to as country kitchens); it was most likely linoleum. Our back door was really a side door with three steps going up to the main floor and lots of steps going to the basement. I fell down those stairs at least three times.

As our family grew, my parents finished the basement, adding four bedrooms and a bathroom. This meant everyone, including my parents, slept downstairs. Jane and Charmalee, my two older sisters, and I were referred to as the three big girls, and we shared a bedroom. Margaret and Barbara, my two younger sisters, were referred to as the two little girls and they shared a bedroom. Matthew, my younger and only brother, had his bedroom where my Dad's workshop used to be and it was partially under the stairs (the closet). The two bedrooms upstairs became the TV room and Dad's office. It was all quite cozy and still amazes me that we all fit.

There are so many memories I have of living on Ross Drive. It will take many posts to record all the memories swirling about in my head. I suppose to be organized and methodical, I'll categorize.

The Basement
Before the basement was finished, the three big girls slept downstairs in a semi-finished area. Jane and I shared a bed and Charmalee slept alone. I slept on the right side of the bed, which was pushed up against a partial wall (it formed an L). It seemed like every morning I would wake up and knock my head against the short wall.

Every morning!

Do you suppose I can blame my shortcomings on head trauma suffered as a child?

The laundry room was tucked in an area where the water heater, water softener and furnace were located. I'll always remember my Mom would hang clothes from the pipes over head. She had some of those cool pant stretchers she would put inside Dad's pants. They would dry, crease and stretch the fabric taut all at the same time, eliminating the need to iron Dad's slacks. Pretty cool, eh?

 Mom would dress us three big girls in the same dresses. One of my favorite outfits were little sailor dresses we had, navy and white. I loved those dresses.

In my mind's eye I can see my Sailor dress hanging from the pipes, too.

Because Charmalee's coloring was warmer than Jane and I, she would often get the same style dresses but in colors more suited to her coloring. Jane and I would wear greens and blues, Charmalee would wear browns and oranges.

We often teased Charmalee about being adopted. We would use her 'different coloring' for our argument. She wore different colors because she had different coloring because she was adopted.

Makes perfect sense to me!

One of my earliest life memories stems from seeing my special Sunday dress hanging from the pipes. When I was three years-old, I had my tonsils taken out. The night before my procedure, Mom hung up my dress, slip, tights, and underwear from the pipes. The dress was a pale yellow dotted Swiss with a white collar and sleeve trim.

So, the night before my procedure I remember my Mom getting everything ready and telling me what a special day it would be for me. I don't remember waking up the next morning (I'm sure it was still dark out) nor do I recall getting dressed. However, I vaguely remember the doctor telling me what a pretty girl I was and the nurse gushed over my dress. Next memory...... being at home with a selection of Popsicles and neighbors putting their faces close to mine, speaking but not understanding what they were saying.

I'm sure I was too focused on the Popsicles!

One year, prior to finishing the basement, we were barred from going into Dad's workshop under the stairs, next to the laundry room. It was the time leading up to Christmas and I remember when it was time for us to go to bed we would go to the door, knock and wait for Dad to open the door stick out his head and kiss us good night. Christmas morning we awoke to doll houses, doll furniture and doll clothes.

Dad made the houses which were flats with a kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The walls were papered, the floors were carpeted or tiled and the doors swung open and closed. Grandpa Blakeley made the furniture which included tables, chairs, sofas, chairs, beds and bed tables, painted in blues, pinks, greens and yellows, coordinating to the house decor. Grandma Blakeley made doll clothes (Barbies) and cushions, pillows and bed coverings for the house.  We enjoyed many hours playing with our dolls in their houses.

The Fruit Room was a very scary place for me.  Mom would can fruits and vegetables each year and the fruit room was the storage place.  It was dark, cool and filled with bottles of food and brown glass bottles filled with water and drops of Clorox, for purification.  Emergency storage.  There was also commercially canned goods in there sometimes, too.  The light inside the fruit room had a pull string to turn on and off with a yellow light bulb.  It didn't seem to be very bright in there, either.

The hall light was also a yellow bulb, dim.  Mom and Dad would leave it on at night as a night light.  One night I fell asleep while looking at the hall light.  That night I had a bad dream which involved the fruit room and monsters.  I was forever afraid of the fruit room and I never faced the hall when fading off to sleep after that dream.

Before the basement was finished, the area that was my parents bedroom was the play area.  Our toys were there and we spent many hours playing downstairs. One of our toys was an ironing board and iron.  For some reason, safety must not have been as heavily regulated back then because our 'toy iron' really plugged in and got hot.  It didn't have an on/off control, either!

One day I remember hearing Jane ask Mom if she and her friend could play downstairs and if they could play with the ironing board and iron.  Mom said yes and also cautioned her to be sure and unplug the iron when they were finished.

Being the nosy little sister I must have been, I remember walking past the play area and seeing the ironing board and iron.  So, I stopped to see if she had unplugged the iron.  I remember thinking I would 'tattle' if she hadn't followed the rules.  I picked up the iron and put my hand flat on the bottom.  I don't remember every event following my 'iron check' but I do remember being in great pain with my left had being covered in white gauze.  It looked like an over sized mitten.  I remember the pain and I also remember sitting outside on the front steps, on my Mom's lap, as she tried to comfort me. 


Burn pain is unrelenting.

Even though it was my left hand that had been burned, I am right-handed, I remember my Mom doing almost everything for me, including feeding me at mealtimes.  It must have been associated with the pain and keeping the wound area clean and dry.

Honestly, I don't know if Jane was ever 'punished' for leaving the iron plugged in.  At that point, did it really matter?  I do remember that toy was removed from our collection.

As I recall, all of the walls in the basement were paneling. Dad did most of the work and I suppose paneling was cheaper and faster than sheet rock.

Mom and Dad's bedroom was a darker panel than the rest of the basement walls.

I'll leave it here and continue The Basement memories on another post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

LaDell H. Bagley

If you think about it in a somewhat abstract way, I suppose the argument could be made that the process of dying begins the day you are born.  For some the process is short, for others the process is long, sometimes very long.  Sadly, for some it is painful and perhaps even painfully long.

No matter the process, dying is something we must each experience.

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I lie wondering how I will find out when a loved one passes.  Will I be with them when they leave this earthly existence?  If not, who will call to tell me the news?  It must sound a bit morbid to some, but it's what I think about, sometimes, in the dark, quiet, sleepless, early hours of the day.

When my sweet Mother passed away, Jane, my oldest sister, called to let us know we should come to the hospital quickly because Mom wasn't doing well.  I've always appreciated that it wasn't a stranger who called that winter day.

These past few years, whenever the subject of dying would come up with Honey, he would say he didn't want to talk about it and change the subject.  His eyes would well with tears and his voice would quiver when he reminisced about his parents, who passed away more than 40 years ago, and his siblings.  While in Wyoming, he would begin to fondly reminisce about his childhood and soon, tears would glisten in his eyes, he would stop talking, cough and change the subject.

Sometimes I would broach the subject of dying with Honey because I wanted to learn how he felt.  Was he scared?  Was he worried it would be painful?  Was he worried about where his spirit would go after leaving his body?  Was he worried about his wife and children who would be left behind?  What was the cause of his fears? 

The conversation never worked. 

Val & I weren't able to talk with him and reassure him that all would be well.  We weren't able to talk about our beliefs (which were his beliefs, too, on a more elementary level) and let him know dying is something we all do and is to be celebrated as much as birth...

In the peaceful setting of his room at home, on a Tuesday afternoon with refreshing Midway breezes and surrounded by his wife and children, LaDell H. Bagley left his earthly existence… July 17, 2012. LaDell was born August 9, 1934 in Fairview, Wyoming to Leah Howell and Oliver A. Bagley.

After making many happy memories with his Star Valley friends, LaDell married his sweetheart Caren Chadwick in 1955 and they were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Shortly after their first son was born, LaDell took his young family to Southern California where he began a career with Sav-on Drug, working his way up to store manager. While in California his family grew, he took up golf and he even hit a hole-in-one!

After his retirement, Dell and Caren moved to Utah, settling in Midway where he and his faithful dogs, Shadow and Lucky, could watch his horses grazing in the field while the beautiful clouds rolled by.

Dell loved spending time with his family and especially loved creating opportunities for his grand-children to create many happy memories together. Spending time in his beautiful Star Valley was also one of his most favorite past times. He was proud of his three children, eleven grand-children and sixteen great grand-children. He always had a smile for each one and we each loved our Honey.

Dell is preceded in death by his parents Oliver & Leah and siblings Ross Bagley, Marie Olson, Lorraine Bagley, Gaylen Bagley, and Leah Beth Peterson; son-in-law Lyndon Bolliger and grand-daughter Kendra Noel Smith. He is survived by his brother LaDee Bagley; his beloved wife Caren and their children Val & Ruth Bagley, Bret & Roxanne Bagley and Ellen & Steve Hille along with ten grand-children and sixteen great grand-children.

Post Script...

My Mother is gone. 

My Father-in-law is gone. 

Now, when I can't sleep, I lie wondering how I will find out when a loved one passes. Will I be with them when they leave this earthly existence? If not, who will call to tell me the news? It must sound a bit morbid to some, but it's what I think about, sometimes, in the dark, quiet, sleepless, early hours of the day.

You Know You're Getting Old

You know you're getting old when you look at the obituaries every day.

You know you are getting old when you have to warm up your muscles each time you stand-up.

You know you are getting old when you talk in decades.

You know you are getting old when you can't hear the televising, or radio, or your husband, if you aren't standing right next to it (him) and/or the volume is on it's maximum setting.

You know you are getting old when you can be referred to as some one's Great Aunt.

I know I'm getting old because, well, I am old!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's Beginning to Feel a Bit Normal

That's right!  It's beginning to feel a bit normal at home again. 

Back in our bedroom; just in time for warm weather.

All my clothing, shoes and toiletries in one location - again!

Walking room in Val's room.

Flowers blooming in the gardens.

Leaves on the trees.

Cooking on the grill.

Loving my new and improved bedroom!

Loving warmer weather!

Loving the possibilities...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Funk

I'm feeling the funk of winter.

I'm weary of the cold.

I wish it would snow and cover-up all the ugly, dirty, lingering snow.

I'm missing my Mom, alot!

I wish I could see all my grand-children more often.

I, I, I, I.

I think I have the 'I' syndrome.

I love my sweet husband!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Left, Left, Left, Right, Left!

Last evening Val and I returned from a quick trip to Texas to see Andrew and Natalie and our friends  the McIntyres.

The first thing Val said when he drove out of the parking area was...

"Oh, Utah!  So glad to be out of Texas and all those lefts."

It's true, the lefts.

There were many interchanges where we kept left.

There were more left exit lanes.

There were weird left merge lanes across oncoming traffic.

There were twice as many left turns we made than right turns.

Even on return trips!

Despite the leftness of our trip, it was a wonderful respite from household woes.

We missed the snow/rain/snow storm.

We missed the cold weather for a few days.

Clarification:  We didn't miss the cold weather like we miss our grandchildren.  We missed the cold weather like - Whew!  Missed that one!

We really, really, really enjoyed our time with Andrew & Natalie in Abilene.  It's always nice to know what your loved ones homes look like so as to picture them in your mind. 

They have a cute apartment in a nice complex. 

Two cute dogs. 

Comfy beds.

And, they are great hosts!

While we were there Andy showed us where he works.

We also saw the base housing where they are contemplating moving.

We did a little home improvement shopping - for our house.

We enjoyed lunch together at a Tex-Mex place - Abuelo's.

We checked out an antique mall.

We saw a movie together - War Horse.

We attended church together.  While at church, we met Uncle Frank & Aunt Madalyn Hoopes' daughter -Connie.  She lives in Andrew & Natalie's ward!  Small world, eh?!

We visited, played games and was able to get to know Natalie better, too.

It was sad to leave... however, I did get three hugs from Natalie!


Sunday afternoon we drove to Double Oak to spend a day and a half with our friends the McIntyres.

Christina and I met and became friends while working at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California.  We started working for Marriott Corporation on the same day, at the same hotel in Salt Lake City but didn't meet each other until 8 years later, in California.

Harold & Christina have five children... Alexa (14), Austin (13), Nicolette (9), Christian (6) and Brigitte (3).  It's always fun to spend time with them and enjoy their hospitality.  They make fresh bread at their house everyday.  In fact, Monday we ran an errand with Christina and when we got home, Nicolette had a batch of dough rising in a bowl.  She was making cinnamon rolls.  First 9 year-old I've ever met who bakes bread on her own!

Christina has always loved baking and making candies.  This last year she started a little cottage business making gift baskets with her handmade candies... caramels, toffee, peanut butter cups, fudge, truffles, etc.

She loves making candies.

We were at their house for a day and a half and she made candies 4 different times... just for the fun of it!

What do you suppose she did with all that candy?

It was too early to begin filling Valentine orders.

She doesn't put her product in stores (on consignment) any more.

She and her family love to eat some of what she makes but that cuts into her profits, so they ration themsleves.

She gave it to us.  On the sly.

She packaged up a bag for Val and told him to take it home and give it to me, as a surprise, for Valentine's Day.

She also gave me a bag as a surprise for Val for Valentine's Day!

Oh, and then there was the gift basket she put in our room prior to our arrival.

My sweet friend Christina is so kind and giving.  She makes such sweet, delicious treats!

She is very good at her craft and is always sharing!

Now, if I could just be as thin as she is and still enjoy her treats!

It's great to be home, even if things are bigger and better in Teaxas!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oh What a Moldy Day!

Last Friday I sat nestled in the corner of the family room sofa reading. 

That corner is the most comfortable place in the house. 

As I was reading I heard water dripping.

I stopped, looked around, didn't see actual water dripping, so I resumed my reading.

A few minutes later, I heard water dripping, again.

Knowing how destructive water leaks can be, I stopped again, crawled out of my corner and approached the area from where I thought the water was coming.  With relief, I looked out the window and noticed water dripping from the side of the house onto some patio chairs.  I opened the window and the sound increased.

Sure enough, I thought...  Water is dripping outside.  Whew!

Once again I resumed reading. 

Read a while longer.

Changed the laundry. 

Folded a batch of clean towels.

Took a call from one of my sisters.

Meandered upstairs to talk in the sitting room.

Then it happened....

Margaret came downstairs and told me my bathroom was flooding.

I talked to Charmalee a few minutes longer and then ended the call.

How bad could it be, I thought, as I wandered upstairs to my bedroom......


It was pretty bad.

Knowing how destructive water leaks can be, I turned off the water to the toilet, took off my shoes and stood there (in the cold, standing water) waiting for Val to bring up the wet/dry vacuum.

Margaret and I started to vacuum up the water but I knew this was too much water, much too much, for our little wet/dry vacuum to handle.

While Margaret continued to vacuum up water, I called our insurance agent to see if he had someone he could recommend for water clean-up.

Placed a call to the company and waited for them to arrive.

I've always enjoyed watching Holmes on Homes.

Even though I already knew water can be a destructive thing in homes, watching that program educated me on just how serious it can be, so I was grateful I was able to call a company for help.

I knew they'd have more powerful water extraction machines and would have the water out of the carpet in no time.


If there is enough water leaking to get sheet rock wet, the insulation and wall studs usually get wet too.

When insulation gets wet, it takes longer to dry because the sheet rock is also wet.

Saturated sheet rock and insulation inhibit the wooden wall studs from drying.

All of this wet... everything... creates a perfect environment for mold growth.

MOLD!  It's bad. Real bad.

The Disaster clean-up folks don't use water extraction machines.

They have huge dehumidifiers and fans.

They come in and remove your carpet pad.

They set-up dehumidifiers and fans.

They ask you to turn-up your thermostat.  Really high!

They return the next day and remove the wet sheet rock and insulation.

And on, and on, and on...

Now let me be clear... I am very grateful for the disaster clean-up people.

Very, very grateful.

But MOLD! It's bad. Real bad.

Mold is very insidious.

Mold can also be a death sentence for homeowners insurance coverage.

Most insurance companies won't pay mold related claims.

In fact, if you file a claim for mold related damages, many companies will cancel your coverage.

Thanks to the digital society we live-in, insurance companies share information.

Armed with that information, other insurance companies won't accept you as a client.

MOLD! It's bad. Real bad.

When all is said and done.

When our house is put back together.

When the chaos has ended.

I'm grateful for our home.

I'm grateful for our insurance coverage.

I'm so very grateful for my sweet husband who always tries to allay my fears and frustrations and helps me at every turn.

I just don't want to have to endure fire, earthquakes, tornadoes, wars, rumors of wars, or more water damage.

I'm a wimp and don't like handling all this stress and chaos. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sheets! Who Needs Them?

Me!  Me!  Me!

Linens are one of my loves.

I love looking at the bedding section in catalogs.

I love looking at home decorating magazines.

I love the thought of having a beautiful bedroom.

Let's be honest.

Having a beautiful bedroom is really just a dream.

Hello?  Husbands!

Beautiful bedding aside, I love bed sheets.

Sheets serve a very good purpose.

A comfortable mattress and box springs are so, so important.

And becoming quite expensive, I might add.

A good quality mattress pad is also very important.

No, really!

Which is easier (actually, possible)?

Washing your mattress or washing your mattress pad and sheets?

The mattress pad protects the mattress.

The bed sheets protect the mattress pad and the mattress.

All this protection extends the life of your mattress.

So, in reality, sheets could be viewed as a necessary evil.

I like to think of them as a cozy necessity.


A debatable point at my house.

It's very frustrating that bedding manufacturers have not kept up with mattress manufacturers.

Pillow top mattresses are good.

Finding fitted sheets deep enough to fit the pillow top mattresses is a huge challenge and frustration.

Not to mention very expensive when you can find extra deep fitted sheets.

Yes, while I love, love, love linens, I do have a limit on what I will spend on bed linens.

With our last mattress purchase, we received a sheet set. 

They fit! 

They are white!

They are a great weave!

We have two other sets that were the right price.  It stops there.

One set is light taupe, bone, whatever shade of beige you choose.

The other set is light blue.


Our bedroom is in whites and lavendars!

The set includes an extra deep fitted sheet, the set was less than $60 so I bought 2 sets.

I bought them in the summer months.

They are a polished cotton weave.

Polished weaves are cool to the touch.

Cool to the touch in the summer months is great.

Cool to the touch during the winter months is AWFUL!

This week it is polished, non-matching sheet-set week.

I couldn't get warm last night.

I slept awful.

I still feel cold.

Poor me!


First World Problem, I know, I know.

My husband loves these 'cool' sheets.  I wish they came in white.

So, for three weeks of each winter month, I'm freezing and my bedding is mis-matched.

My husband is happy!

Well, to be honest, he's not happy that I'm freezing..

He's happy that he sleeps better when he's cool.  UGH!

I do have two sets of jersey sheets, which are warmer than regualr sheets but not as warm as flannel sheets.

I love a happy husband, so I only sneak those on when it's really, really cold and make sure I open the window at night.

If I could find a set of flannel sheets with an extra deep fitted sheet, I'd save my pennies so I could buy a set.

I could at least use them when Val is out of town.  Which is only one week in the winter months!

Well, at least I get to use the jersey sheets at the B House in the warmer months!!!


A necessity. 

Not always cozy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Beginning of the End

Ten years ago.

Thanksgiving, 2001.

That was the last Thanksgiving my family enjoyed with my sweet Mother.

Being the thoughtful lady she was, my Mom hosted Thanksgiving for the Blakeleys the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  This enabled us to celebrate the holiday with the other side of our families on Thanksgiving Day and not feel conflicted about not spending it with my parents.

I really appreciated her forethought.

The first few years of this tradition she hosted the dinner in her home.

Eventually, Charmalee began opening her home to us, due to space challenges.

Mom would plan for at least a month, prepare for at least a week and delight our taste buds for hours.

The traditional Thanksgiving fare was not always her offering.  She loved creating different menus and it was always delicious.

We were always treated with delicious food and knew certain things were prepared because she knew it was something loved by one, two or all.

She knew Laura liked little midget sweet pickles so they were always on the relish tray.

Paul loves shrimp, so shrimp were always included in the spread.

Brad and Laura are allergic to walnuts, so there was always something on the desert table, sans nuts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake was introduced somewhere along the way, was a huge hit, and is now considered a staple on the menu.

Mom had been battling heart disease for a few years and had undergone two open heart surgeries.  In fact, the previous year, she was in the hospital on Thanksgiving.

Needless to say, in 2001 we were so grateful to have Mom with is, not to mention back in the kitchen preparing a wonderful meal for us to share together.  Barbara was even in town to share the holiday with us!

The craft had been completed, dinner had been served, our tummies were full, the dishes were cleared, tables put away and Mom and Charmalee finally took the opportunity to sit down, relax and visit.

Unfortunately, soon after they sat down to relax, Mom began having chest pains and leg cramps.

It was time for Barbara to leave, returning to San Diego, and she left with a heavy heart and tears.

Mom insisted everything would be okay and tried to assure us that she was just tired.  So, she laid down on the floor.  The floor!

The sight of her laying on the floor was disconcerting to all, especially my Dad.  He bundled her up and took her home.

Over the next few days she assured us she was fine and we began to settle back into our routines.

Mom's at home winter wardrobe consisted of a variety of sweats and neckerchiefs.  I always thought she added the neckerchief for a touch of flair.  Dressing up her sweats.

I later learned they were to keep her neck warm!  She was cute and smart!

Christmas day, Mom was wearing her taupe sweats.  Her skin color that day matched her sweats.  A bit greyish.  She looked drawn; tired eyes, lethargic.

My gift from my parents that year was a KitchenAid mixer!

To say I was excited was an understatement.  Mom knew I had wanted one for a few years and despite hints and outright suggestions to Val, I still didn't have one.  Mom must have known it was up to her and Dad if my kitchen was going to be equipped with a stand mixer.

By late January, Mom was almost lifeless. 

A visit to her cardiologist landed her in the hospital.  He believed she must have had a virus which attacked her heart and took a toll.  The prescribed protocol was to administer new medicine that would strengthen her heart and put her on the mend.

On a side note... it seemed like whenever Mom had a setback, her cardiologist was on his way out of town.  This time was no exception.  His absence meant Mom would be attended to by another cardiologist in his office.  I always hated this scenario.

The attending doctor determined Mom would benefit from a pacemaker.  She had one previously but it was later deemed unnecessary and removed.

Friday the surgery was scheduled for Monday.  This would give her a few more days to become stronger.

That same evening, Val and I took Laura, Andrew and Brandon to visit Mom.  It was so fun to see her interact with them.  She was so animated and it was evident she was beginning to feel better.  It was such a delightful visit.

For some reason, the surgeon decided to perform the procedure on Saturday.

Saturday morning found us at Mom's cleaning house and finishing the redecoration of her bathroom. 

She had decided a few months before that she was ready for new colors and decorations.  We all gave her gifts for her birthday and Christmas to help her complete the gathering process so she could make the change.

I remember being in the bathroom with Jennifer, my niece, cleaning.  I've always prided myself on my thorough cleaning regime.  That day, Jenny trumped me.  She cleaned the toilet which included cleaning the inside of the tank!

After we finished our tasks, Val and I took the kids to Salt Lake City to visit the Olympic Venues and choose a souvenir.  It was a fun time despite it taking over an hour to travel two blocks.  Traffic was so crazy.  I'd never experienced traffic like that in SLC.

It was fun to wander around the city, visit the Olympic store, experience the area with the simulated events for the kids to try.

After a fun evening in the big city, we returned home.  The phone rang shortly after.  It was Jane saying Mom wasn't doing well and we'd better go to the hospital.  Fortunately, for reasons I don't recall, on our way home that evening, we took the kids back to their Mom's house, which proved to be a blessing.

After Mom's pacemaker surgery, she was having some pain.  Her nurse, who wanted her to be comfortable, gave her some morphine.  The dose made her blood pressure plunge and despite all their efforts, they weren't able to bring it back-up and Mom passed.

It was February 2, 2002... 02/02/02.

We were all gathered around her bed.  So badly I wanted to climb in bed with her and sing to her.  I wanted to sing my favorite Primary songs... I am a Child of God; I know Heavenly Father Loves Me; I Often go Walking.  I wanted to rub her back.  I wanted to run my fingers through her hair.  I wanted to hold her close one more time.

The bed was too small.

Our hearts broke a little that day.

Mom never got to see her 'new' bathroom.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Living in Suburbia

The largest city I've ever lived in is London, England.

The smallest town I've ever lived in is Daphne, Alabama....

      Then again Wehen, Germany may have been smaller.

When we moved to Syracuse, the population was hovering around 7,000.

Currently, the population is around 25,000.

The things I miss most about living in larger, more metropolitan areas are...

The shopping opportunities.

The cultural experiences.

The dining options.

and last but not least... in fact the best thing... the thing I miss the most...

The bakeries!

In Germany, almost every little town had a bakery.

There was nothing better than a warm fresh brotchen in the morning!  Yummy. 

Sometimes they were so fresh, you could see the steam waft from the roll as you broke it open.  Divine.

Whenever I entertain, or around the holidays, I yearn for easy access to an awesome European style bakery.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Hot Stuff

The other day I received an email from a lady who works in my building.  She needed help and was frustrated that a new person on our team was not as responsive to her request as she is accustomed.

In her email she thanked me for helping her and was glad I don't think I'm 'hot stuff' like some others.

I replied to her email and said....

"The only time I'm hot stuff is when I'm having a hot flash."

It's true.

Unfortunately, those unforgiving hot flashes are coming on in record numbers.

And the night sweats?  Ugh!

My doctor and I discussed the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy about a month ago.  I was out of estrogen, my refill privileges had expired and I wanted to know his thoughts on the continued HRT.

His opinions were in line with my feelings and I decided to suspend the therapy.

Man.  It's as if the mere act of making the decision and walking out of his office flipped a switch, or amped up the frequency and intensity of the dreaded hot flashes.

I can't sleep.

I can't get comfortable.

I feel like I smell, all the time.

It's the pits, I tell you.


I'm going to go in for a second opinion.

What's your opinion?

My Sweet Mutti

November 12th is the birthday anniversary of my sweet Mutti.

She would be 80 years young this year.

I miss her so, so much.

Not a day passes without me sending hugs and kisses to her in heaven.

Some times I write letters to her.

Sometimes I buy her greeting cards.

I feel closest to her when I'm grocery shopping,

or when I'm in the kitchen baking or cooking,

or when I put butter on my toast,

or use butter when cooking,

and definitely when I buy butter.

Did you know she had 22 lbs of butter in her freezers and fridges when she passed away?

Yep, that's my Mutti!

I love you Mutti!

Happy birthday!

Happy Autumn!

Happy Thanksgiving!


The photo is from 1957, the year I was born.  It was the photo Dad used for the family Christmas card.

Dad was cool like that, making Christmas cards Well, he's still cool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Love

Don't tell my husband, but.... I really, really love autumn. 

It's his favorite season so naturally he would like it if I felt the same.

Because I love the fresh, warming of Spring, and all the beautiful Spring Bulbs and budding leaves, I can't claim Autumn as my favorite.

Val makes a good argument for Autumn being the best.... it's not as muddy as Spring! 


Really, I love all of the seasons.

Spring -vs- Autumn

How do you choose?

All I know is I am loving this weather; beautiful colors, scents and the desire to bake and cook up some yummy meals and treats in our kitchen.... especially the delicious tomatoes from our garden!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Double Delight

This morning it occurred to me...

I didn't include my reunion with my sweet friend Jayne Stout Macpherson!

Now that was double delightful!

Jayne and I met while we were both living in Germany in the 70s.  Although we lived quite a distance apart, (she lived with her brother and his family and I was living with my parents) we were in the same ward.  Being some of the few single girls of the ward, we had lots and lots of fun at single adult activities, single adult FHE, and jaunts around the continent.

Jayne met and married one of the single adult guys from our ward, had their first child while living there and then Dale was transferred.  We tried keeping in touch but eventually lost touch.

Thanks to the Internet, we reconnected earlier this year!

In July, Jayne and her two youngest daughters, Sara and Allison, travelled from Arizona to Utah for family reunions, mission homecomings, EFY and other fun stuff.  One of those days they came up to visit me and took me to lunch.

It was so fun reconnect, reminiscing and catching up on each others lives.  It was almost as if we'd never lost touch.

Jayne is still the same happy, positive, giving, caring friend she was all those years ago.

Sara and Allison are so much like their Mom in those same ways, too.

The only way our visit could have been better would have been if our time together were longer and our husbands could have met each other.

Hopefully we'll be able to schedule another visit sometime soon.  Although, she has a very, very busy life.  I feel lazy when I think about all she and her family have going on...

Thank you so much for coming to visit me Jayne.  It was a double delight, indeed.

I love you!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Some of the delightful things I love, love, love about summertime include...
  • Long days (lots of light)
  • Morning light (especially in my gardens - everything looks almost ethereal)
  • Midnight walks (I'm always amazed at how many people are up so late)
  • Flowers, all colors, shapes, sizes
  • The fragrance of honeysuckle as it's carried to my windows on slight southern breezes
  • The smell of fresh cut lawns
  • Shade, especially from our very own trees
  • Tomatoes from our garden...delightfully delicious
Delightful things I've especially enjoyed this summer have been...
  • Mild temperatures
  • Working from home
  • Time spent with family and friends
  • A mini church history tour to Martin's Cove
  • Dates and test driving cars with my sweet husband
  • Sleepover with our grand-children and daughter-in-law
  • Visit from our Colorado granddaughters and their parents
  • Splish splash fun at Cherry Hill with the sleepover gang
  • The arrival of our newest and littlest grandchild... Link Gardner Bagley
Life is delightful!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



No, not me.

Last year I sold my car.  My little silver Beetle.

Why, you ask?

Because I wasn't driving it much anymore.  Seriously, I had driven it less than 4,000 miles in a 16 month period.

Now, when I want or need to go somewhere, I coordinate it with my cute husband or he takes me!

Not having a car has really cut back on my shopping, which is a good thing.

Not having a car has really cut in to my visiting, too, which is not a good thing.  It's a sad thing.

Whenever I see my grandchildren, sweet Abbi reminds me it's been a long time since I've seen them.

Indeed it has Miss Abbi, way too long.

My cute husband and sweet Miss Abbi!

My cute husband is headed to Scout Camp for a week in July.

That means I'll be stranded... seriously... stranded to my house! 

Oh my.

We've been talking about buying a new car... sooner than later.

Sooner, as in this autumn.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It is a milestone... or mileage stone, indeed!

My husband loves, loves, loves tracking things.

He used to have a mental game he'd play with his odometer.

His challenge was to see the mileage turn over at every one hundred miles.
He's given up this practice but his record was 13 times or 1,300 miles, consecutively, when he retired from this mind game.

A few weeks ago, we had fun with this milestone...


Of course, we had to take the long and winding way home because he wanted the odometer to be at 200,000 when we pulled in the driveway.
We also had to switch places, because I was driving and I really wanted him to be at the wheel when it happened.  While it was fun to 'be there'.... I sure am glad my bladder cooperated!

On a side note... interestingly, his car turned over 100,000 miles on his birthday a few years ago.  We were at Red Robin in Layton on that special occasion. :)

I really love my handsome man!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth!!

The happiest place on earth was visited by the cutest Bagleys on earth!

Paul & Heather were able to take their cute ones to Disneyland during spring break last month.

Heather sent us some photos taken while at Disneyland.  Based on photos and their reports, they were having the time of their life.

It looks like this photo was taken while they were on the animal train, and Alona is pretending to be an animal, too!

Val & I are so happy they were able to go and make more memories as a family!  Most importantly, we are very grateful they returned home safley.

My, What Nice Ears!

While I was in Colorado Springs, Kellie could often be seen wearing her bunny ears.

She was so funny about how her ears would look, too.  Sometimes they were folded in, sometimes twisted not too often were they upright.

I suppose it was dependent on her playful attitude at the time.

Or, maybe she didn't like the airflow disturbance!

All I know is, they created a ticklish moment when hugs and kisses were shared while bunny ears were on her head!

Sleeping Diaperless

While I was in Colorado Springs last month, Miss Delia began her "potty training" journey. 

She was a somewhat reluctant participant but a trooper, nonetheless!

This is a photo of her first diarperless nap.  Just a few short hours after training began.

And, she woke up dry!

Y.E.S.   We have A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. grandchildren!

Oh, yes we do!

Object Lessons

For the most part, I like object lessons. 

As a teaching tool, they are a nice diversion from lecturing. 

As a student, many have had a positive impact on me and they are learning moments I've retained.

The object lesson I've been thinking about lately is about give and take.  Or, give and receive.

The objects in this particular lesson include a cup of water for each family member. The water represents service, love, acts of kindness, gifts, or things we do for each other.

Dad, our hero,  goes to work each day which enables us to have food, clothing, shelter, transportation and opportunities to make memories doing fun things.  A little bit of water from Dad's cup is poured into each family members cup, representing his love and service to our family.

Mom, well Mom does a lot.... shopping, meal preparation, teaching moments, help with homework, laundry, housework (and teaching us how to do these same chores, hopefully), transportation and the list goes on, and on and on.  Sometimes this includes everything on this list and more and working outside the home.  Water goes from Mom's cup to everyone else's cup, representing the love she has for us and the service she extends to us each day.

Children, most often the recipients of others water, also share their love and service when they help with the chores, help with younger siblings, give Mom and Dad hugs, are obedient to family rules and assignments, clean up after themselves, help with meals and show love and kindness to family members.

Hopefully you get the idea.

I enjoy sharing my water with others.  Especially my family.

My wifely responsibilities enable me to share my water with my sweet husband.  The husbandly responsibilities he assumes refills my cup.  The bounteous blessing I receive each day from my Father in Heaven enable me to serve and share with others.

For the most part, our children and grandchildren share their water with us, too.

Although my goal is to have water constantly flowing to and from my cup, some areas of my ever flowing cup are parched.

Worrying about the parched areas and trying in vain to share seem to have created a drought.

  • When you feel like you've given all you have to share, receiving nothing in return, where do find more to continue sharing?

Obviously, we don't give to receive.  I don't, anyway. 

My giving comes from the heart. 

A heartfelt desire to create a moment in the recipients life to let them know I'm thinking about them, that I love them and/or more simply, I just want to reach out to them.  Sometimes my sharing stems from a desire to be helpful.

There have been so many people in my life  - my Mother, Father and sisters being the best at sharing with me,  - who have extended the same thoughtful acts of sharing and kindness, how can I not share?

From my perspective, to keep the water flowing freely, life has to be a give and take proposition. 

Or give and receive...

Forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance... I believe each of these elements must be part of the give and receive recipe.

Sometimes I come up short on my ebb and flow.  Never intentionally. 

Some of my relationships feel like a one-way street,  Not the give and receive of a two-way street.

  • Don't you just love, love, love my double and triple analogy combinations?       Cups, recipes, streets!
In my constant state of self-analysis... it's obvious I'm missing the mark on some cups. However, without feedback, or even a polite acknowledgement of my efforts, how can I make corrections and improve?

When I feel this parched, I'm inclined to go where the water is flowing freely and receive reserves from those who freely give.

Feeling weary! 

Not feeling groovy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Love Letters

Love letters warm my soul,

Make my heart smile, and

Brighten my day!

Since I'm not able to see my grandchildren on a regular basis  (which means - alot!), I've taken to writing each of them letters.

My thought is it's a good way to let them know I'm thinking about them and I love them, bunches!  Besides, who doesn't love getting something in the mailbox.

The most wonderful part of my letter writing campaign..... they write back!

Love letters from my grandchildren... not only do they warm my soul... they help me float through my day!

I love you Alona, Abbigail, Kacen, Kellie, Jesse and Delia!

Hugs from Grammie/Grandma Ruthie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Am Not Afraid

Before I met Val, he had a great group of friends that would often be found playing volleyball or UNO.  Sometimes both in the same evening.  They wouldn't play regular UNO, however.  They liked playing Cuthroat UNO... a pretty aggressive game.

Over the years, although our get togethers have become less frequent, we still stay in touch with each other.

Lon and Jennie Richards, who formerly lived in Bountiful, moved to Riverton alot of years ago.  In their new ward, they met Tom and Jenny Wiscomb.  The Jennys became friends and Jennie R began including the Wiscombs in our UNO nights. 

Being the small world it is sometimes, Val was delighted to meet up with Jenny Wiscomb, whom he formerly worked with at the March of Dimes!

Accompanying the Wiscomb's 2010 Christmas Card, was a letter recapping the year in the Wiscomb family.  At the very end of the letter, Jenny talked about her battle with cancer, her clean follow-up appointments and hope for a better 2011.  She bravely included photos of herself, sans hair, and her new look since her hair grew back.

Imagine our shock, dismay and heartsick feeling when we received an email from Jennie R letting us know Jenny W's cancer was back, with a vengeance.  Jenni R actually forwarded us the email from Jenny W, so we could read about it in Jenny W's own eloquent way.  An irony of this shocking email was that the Wiscombs received the call from Jenny W's Oncologist just 15 minutes before they were to walk out the door for an extended weekend at a beautiful cabin in Island Park.

They wouldn't be able to meet with the doctor until the next week, so they went to Island Park, with heavy hearts, and decided to enjoy their time together as best they could.

As fate would have it, the cancer is back and has spread to other vital organs (lungs and liver) of her body, is a very rare form of cancer and, for the most part, doesn't respond well to chemo or radiation therapies...

Jenny W has decided she would rather have quality of life, even though it may be shorter, than undergo the awful treatments of chemo and radiation therapies and be sick the last months and days of her mortal life.

Recently Jenny W sent out an email asking us to fast for her this next fast Sunday, and pray that her cancer can be slow growing, thus extending her life as long as possible.  You see, Jenny's one and only son, Glen, is currently serving as a missionary and will return home in June.  Jenny's sincerest prayers are that she will be relatively strong and able bodied when Glen returns home so they can have some quality time together.

Right now, Jenny is making quilts for her son and daughter (who is 16) and nieces and nephews.  Quilts they can receive as a wedding gift, from Jenny (in absentia) when they marry.  A bittersweet time with her Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law... choosing fabrics, cutting, piecing, sewing, quilting.... visiting, reminiscing... making lasting memories to shore them up when Jenny is no longer amongst us.

Recently Jenny was interviewed by W. A. Christensen, of the Enduring it Well series, on  If you choose to listen to this inspiring interview make sure you have a box of tissues with you.

An inspiring interview with an amazing and inspiring lady. May God bless and keep the Wiscomb family.

Can't Wait!

General Conference is just a few days away, and I can't wait!

Val and I have always enjoyed 'Conference Weekend' and the opportunity we have to Come listen to a Prophet's Voice.

Enhancing the experience is the opportunity we have to enjoy participating in our ward In-Between Potluck Lunch, which is in-between the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday. It's fun to share a meal with neighbors and friends and discuss our favorites or 'aha moments' of the morning session.

Our challenge is to stay awake while we are listening to the speakers. It's kinda tough on our comfy sofas with snugly quilts and peaceful environment. To help us stay awake, we've taken to working on projects while we listen. If Val has a book project he's working on, he may save his coloring and color while he listens. I usually work on cards (this time I'll be putting together cards for the Bagley Easter Egg Hunt), or mating socks! Taking notes is always a must, too!

I hope conference weekend is a wonderful experience for you and your family, too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Poor Neighbors!

For some reason, when I was a little girl, I determined in my mind that people who let their window curtains billow outside the windows were poor.

As I grew, and so did the use of blinds, whenever I saw broken blinds, I also believed the residents were poor.

Now, I realize billowing curtains simply mean there aren't screens on the windows.

Broken blinds most likely indicate pets or children continually pulled on that section of blinds and they broke off. It doesn't indicate economic status.

Realizing folks aren't as concerned with the details, like me, is sometimes true, too.

Now that I'm a homeowner, I can't help but feel bad for the neighbors of people who don't seem to care about their yards.

Yard debris, overflowing trash cans in the front of the house (instead of in the back or side yard, hidden from view), toys scattered about, shoes, socks and other cast off items all help to create a picture of a disheveled home.

Today, I'm feeling really bad for my neighbors!

Orange peels, fast food bags, pop cans and other trash are revealing themselves after the snow melts. Courtesy of the strong winds we expereinced over the last few weeks, I'm sure!

Then there is the pile of yard decorations and patio furniture stacked, but not completely covered by the tarp that was once tightly secured around them for protection during the winter months.

When I look out the windows, I see all the ills of winter, calling for my attention.

I'd post a photo, but it's just too embarrassing!

My screens are intact.

We don't do blinds.

The trash can is in the backyard.

And if there are children's shoes or other apparel items, I don't know to whom they belong!

My yard is crying for some tender loving clean-up!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cold and Weary


Are you like me? So very tired of this cold weather!

The irony is, we don't have it near as bad as folks in the Midwest.

This week I have been thinking, wondering and thinking.....

Thinking about how grateful I am that we weren't caught in freezing cold storms on a freeway somewhere.

Wondering if people who were stuck had provisions to carry them through the long hours of being stranded.

Thinking about how I need to look at our car bag, packed for such emergencies, to ensure it is up-to-date.

This past fall we made little, portable heaters for our cars but I don't think we ever put them in the duffel bags. Silly!

This afternoon, Val and his Scouts are going up to the Ogden Valley to spend the night and participate in the annual Klondike. Oh my gosh.... it will be so cold!

It is an understatement to say, I am so grateful for my warm home, cozy blankets, warm clothing and all the food I need. It is so sad to think not everyone enjoys this same blessing.

Be warm!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tattling Toddlers

Is there anything cuter than tattling toddlers?

Usually, we don't know exactly what they are saying, we can only smile and chuckle to ourselves while trying to acknowledge or fix the cause of their dismay.

A few weeks ago while visiting Paul & Heather at their new house (yes, they are homeowners!) Grandpa was doing what Grandpa loves best...

Rough housing with his grandchildren.

The feelings are mutual, I might add :)

Being the responsible and concerned Grandpa that he is, when Little Jesse (19 months) seemed to be getting a little over heated from all the rough housing, Grandpa stopped and helped Jesse take off his outer shirt.

Off Jesse toddled, to tattle to his Mommy!

Tattling, tattling, tattling until Mommy helped him put his shirt on.

Back he went to resume his rough housing with Grandpa!

A few days ago, upon returning from a visit to Lake Point, Laura, being the good and polite Mama that she is, helped Miss Delia (18 months) take off her shoes.

Off Delia toddled, to tattle on Mama!

Tattling, tattling, tattling while holding up her little foot, I really got an ear full.

After I empathized with her she seemed content and toddled off, to go about her business!

Grandchildren are the best!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Upstairs, Downstairs?





On my clean floors

I feel my feet glide!

Whenever I 'do housework', I'm always in a quandary about where to begin.

If I start upstairs and work my way down......

When traipsing up and down the stairs, Val and I will surely bring the downstairs dirt, scraps of paper, lint, etc... upstairs.

Ditto for the opposite.

If I don't sweep the garage floor and vacuum the rug, first, all that dirt, sawdust, leaves, etc... comes inside.

Naturally, if I don't sweep the front steps all the dirt, bits of bark and leaves find their way into my freshly cleaned house.

Of course, the best answer to this befuddling dilemma is to take off our shoes when entering the house... well I do! But my sweet husband, that's another challenge.

Then there is always the ongoing challenge of bits of paper attaching themselves to our feet, shod or not, traveling upstairs and sticking to my just vacuumed or swept and dusted floors.


A potential solution to this challenge would be for my cute husband to learn to do the computer version of cut and paste rather than the literal version of cut and paste.

Convincing him to take off his shoes when coming inside would definitely be easier!

Oh, how I wish my feet could happily glide on clean floors each and every day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Things

As a young lady living in Germany with my family, I would often fret about not being married. I was, after all, 21!

While working at the U.S. military commissary, I had a cute little boss, Louis Rozario. He was my height. Lou was retired military who opted to stay in Europe (he'd married a German Fraulein years before) and worked for the government after retiring.

Sometimes my co-workers would tease me about boys and marriage. They'd also embarrass me with comments about 'married' life. Lou would always come to my aid and/or defense, give me a hug and tell me....

Good things come to those who wait.

Boy was he ever right!

My wait was long but my good thing is an amazingly selfless, sincere, kind, sweet, talented, funny, romantic, valiant, hard-working, handsome husband.

He was feeling kind of dead the day this photo was taken. Poor guy worked so hard getting ready for Halloween, it nearly killed him!

Seriously, three days to set-up, three hours and over 500 trick-or-treators, three days to dismantle. It was hard work but he loves it!

Thanks for marrying me, my Valiant!

I love you. XOXOXOXO

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wow! Such an Amazing Blessing!

Our neighborhood has suffered from a rash of petty thefts in the last few months.

Items left in cars go missing.

The police theorize the thieves sell stuff to pawn shops for cash.

Why don't they get real jobs?

My camera has been missing.

I've imagined it sitting in a local pawn shop, for sale.

It would be my own fault.

Naively, I often leave my car unlocked, sometimes with the keys in the ignition, in the driveway.

A few weeks ago I was called to be a Sunbeam teacher.

Not too happy about this one.

Imagining Kacen and Kellie as Sunbeams is what has kept me thinking positive.

Sunday, I had a drippy nose and was without a tissue. In our chapel and Relief Society room there are boxes of tissue next to or under the podium. I was sitting right next to the podium in the Primary room. While singing time was happening, I peeked under the podium in search of a tissue.

I found my camera, instead!

Can you believe it?

Val's missing camera was there, also!

We are so thankful for all the wonderful blessings we receive in our lives.

I can't wait to take photos....

Kacen's birthday party is tomorrow.

I must recharge the battery - now!

Have fun taking your own photos.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10 x 30 Challlenge

Laura Michelle is participating in a 10 x 30 Challenge.

Each day, for 30 days, she will rid her house, and life, of 10 things.

Great idea, eh?

Here's the beginning of my list.....

30 magazines
1 High Chair
5 Brass Door Knob Sets
3 Stray Towels (not my colors - have no idea from whence they came)
1 Suitcase
14 Child size hangers (in pink)
10 Assorted Clothing Items
1 Glass Vase
1 Squirt Gun
1 Bike Lock
1 Book Holder
5 Assorted Books
1 Mouse Pad
1 Pair Scissors
1 Decorative Pitcher
2 DVD Cases
1 CD Case

So far, this is 80 items or 8 days!

I'm still adding and it is so liberating!

Wish I were this excited and motivated with shedding pounds, too!

I Did It!

Yes, Siree.

I did it!

I switched the thermostat from Cool to Heat!

My cute Mom loved wearing sweats in the cooler months.

Always a matched set, too.

Along with her sweats, she'd wear a coordinating bandanna or other neckerchief.

I always thought it was because she wanted to dress-up her sweats.

After she passed away, somehow I ended up with her bandannas.

One winter morning while I was wearing sweats I tied on one of her bandannas.

Here I was, trying to create a Mommy Moment and had an enlightened moment, as well.

Not only was my sweet little Mom stylish, she was also very smart.

Why, that little neckerchief kept the back of my neck warm, too!

I sure do miss my Mom and her neckerchiefs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Alona Marie Bagley

Today is Miss Alona's birthday.

She is eight years old today.

Alona is our first grandchild.

It is fun to spend time with Alona.

She loves playing Hide-n-Seek with her grandpa.

She loves to read.

She has a beautiful smile.

She is very intelligent.

She has a fun personality.

She is very literal.

She is a good big sister.

She has one sister and two brothers.

Over the years we've had many opportunities to make memories with Alona.

The first time she spent the night with us she had a stuffed money she loved. Her mom told us she would be okay at bedtime as long as she had her monkey. That evening we arrived home after the sun had gone down. There was a beautiful moon and so before we went in the house we walked through the yard to show Alona the pretty moon. Unknowingly, Alona dropped her monkey in the garden.

While going through the bedtime routine we couldn't find the monkey! Grandpa looked in the car, he looked through the house, he looked in her bags to no avail. We couldn't find the monkey.

Alona was becoming a little distressed, wanting her monkey for comfort.

So, we said a little prayer and retraced our steps since we had arrived home. Since I'm a better looker/searcher, Grandpa held Alona while I went outside. Walking through the yard, I kicked something but couldn't tell what it was because of the darkness. I fetched a flashlight and went back outside to find the monkey... blending in the darkness of the garden.

We were all so thankful we found the monkey and Alona was able to have a restful night's sleep!

A few years ago Alona learned about the gold plates and how difficult it was for prophets to engrave on the plates. She also learned a strange writing style. She and I exchanged a few letters using the strange characters.

We also exchanged notes wrting our words backwards. It has been fun to do and especailly for me to sometimes refer to her as her backeard name... Anola!

We love you AlonAnolA!

Thanks for being part of our family and thank you for all of your hugs and kisses!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

14. September. 1897

The birthday of the lady whom I represented in the temple on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday was 14. September. 2010!

Awesome, eh?

I think so!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So Sad!

I'm so sad.

I'm really pretty frustrated with myself too.

Back in July, I refinished our hardwood floors.

Naturally, part of the process was to empty the rooms of furniture. Before my curio cabinet could be moved, I had to remove all of my treasures... including my Lladro Christus.

A treasure my sweet husband gave to me many years ago when it debuted.

Yesterday I finally got the curio's glass and mirrors polished and the shelves back in place ready to restock the cabinet.

As I pulled a vase, which I inherited from my Mom who inherited it from my Grandmother Blakeley, I moved it from behind the Christus and hit His arm.

It broke off.

And when it hit the floor, His thumb and little finger broke off, too.

Just thinking about it and writing this makes my eyes tear and my tummy tumble.

My brother-in-law Brad teases us Blakeley girls about our graven images. Others may see it as such, too.

But... I love it. Whenever I look at this beautiful figurine, I am reminded of my Savior's sacrifice for me. I feel my Savior's love in all the world around me. I am so grateful for His love and sacrifice. For me. For you. For my loved ones.

As I held the broken pieces in my hand, I thought about how He hung, suffered and died on the cross for each of us. While my heart is sad that my Christus is not whole, we can each become whole through him.

My Christus will be restored.

My gratitude for and testimony of Him has been renewed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ode to White... For a Season!

Well, today is the last day for wearing certain whites.

Easter to Labor Day.

Yesterday, to take advantage of this soon to expire fashion protocol, I wore my white skirt and white sandals to church!

It's okay with me.

Come Labor Day, I'm ready for a change. Temperatures are usually cooling, enticing me to wear warmer shoes and clothing.

So, I'll be putting away my white skirts, socks, shoes, belts and handbags.

How about you?

It means I get to change my bedding, too!

Yippee Skippee!

I still haven't found autumnal bedding I love, but I'm still looking!

Comforter, blankets, throws, cozy!

My Dad!

My Dad, my Dad, my Dad, talking about my Dad!

My Dad!

Today my sweet Dad turns 80!

My Dad, GWB, is a depression baby.

He is also the 'baby' of the family.

GWB grew up in Ogden, Utah with his parents and siblings.

They lived on 12th Street and he attended Mound Fort Elementary School, Mound Fort Middle School and Ogden High School. His Uncle was the architect of Ogden High School.... a very cool building in it's time.

His parents were gardeners and grandpa worked for the railroad and was a tool and die maker.

GWB served an LDS mission to the Central States. Kentucky was his area.

After his mission he served in the Army during the Korean conflict. While stationed at Fort Ord, California, he met his future wife and my sweet Mom.

The story goes that while participating in Sacrament meeting, my Mom and her friend were a bit, shall we say, irreverent (noisy) and my Dad asked them to be quiet! After the meeting, he introduced himself and apologized for getting after her.

Upon completing his military service he moved his new little family, my Mom and oldest sister Jane, to Utah where they went about making a life for themselves.

Some of my cherished memories of my Dad........

The summer between 3rd and 4th grade, my Dad had to go on an extended TDY to Pennsylvania. Not wanting to be left home all summer with 6 children, my Mom arranged for all of us to join him. We stayed in Hershey, PA and it was awesome! That summer we travelled up and down the East Coast and traversed the Midwest to and from PA.

On our way to Pennsylvania, we took the southern route. While driving through New Mexico we made a pit stop. Because there weren't any facilities, my Dad ventured out into the wooded area. While 'out there' he found a tarantula and brought it back with him. That gargantuan spider lived in an empty peanut butter jar on the stove top of our trailer for a long time.

I hated that thing!

It was fuzzy, creepy and I really, really hated it.

Whenever it was my turn to clean the kitchen, I really loathed moving the bottle to wipe the counter/stove.

One morning we woke to a dead spider.


We think it must have been cooked to death the previous day while my Mom was preparing something that required a higher temperature.

When in 5th grade, I attended a maturation seminar with my other female classmates. During the seminar we received booklets with 'the drawings'. One day as I headed down the hall from my bedroom, there was my Dad on the stairs (the stairs I wanted to ascend) reading my booklet. I was horrified! So horrified I made a beeline to the bathroom and stayed there until he left. I was so, so embarrassed. What was he thinking reading a girls book with illustrations of fallopian tubes, et al? Really!

As a little girl with two older sisters, we had lots of Barbies. One year leading up to Christmas, my Dad worked in his shop every night. Whatever he was working on was so top secret, we had to kiss him goodnight with his head sticking out from the door of his shop. We were under strict orders to 'KEEP OUT'.

Christmas morning, we had the coolest Barbie Dollhouse with furniture and everything. My sweet Dad and my sweet Grandpa collaborated to make us a doll house with all the trimmings. Dad made the house and Grandpa made the furniture... Dining room tables and chairs, sofas, end tables, beds, closets, everything a Barbie could need. Of course I didn't know until years later it was a Father Son collaboration. I thought Santa and his elves made the wonderful Barbie Pad!

When you grow-up in a home with five siblings, one on one time with Dad is rare. Especially when he worked two jobs. Well, at the ripe old age of 24 I required oral surgery. At that time I was living in Seattle, alone. I was also new to the area and didn't really know anyone I felt comfortable calling on to help me when I had the surgery. So my Dad flew from Battle Creek, Michigan, where he and my Mom were living, to take care of me. He came for a week!

As I drove to the airport to pick-up my Dad I remember having a moment of panic. I was nervous about what we would do with each other for a whole week... just the two of us. It had never happened before.

We had an amazing time!

Seattle was the first place I lived on my own. Because of that, I wasn't fully equipped with household goods. Dad went shopping with me to insure I bought the right type of box spring and mattress. He helped me arrange my furniture, went sight seeing with me to the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market and other fun downtown haunts and he cared for me post surgery.

Interestingly, because he didn't live in the area, and wasn't familiar with it either, I drove to the surgeon's office. Still woozy from sedation, my Dad had to drive me home... I slept the entire way home (about 30 minutes drive time). Later that day when I woke and felt somewhat normal I wondered how my Dad knew to find his way back to my apartment. He told me that every time he needed to make a turn I would sit up and direct him, then lay back down until the next turn. I had no recollection of the drive home. Our spirits are amazing, aren't they?

Those are just a few of the many memories I have of my wonderful Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Thank you for giving me such an amazing life filled with love and support. I'll love you forever!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Honey Do

Honey and his dog, Lucky
Midway, Utah

This week Val and I took Honey to Wyoming.

He was born and raised in Star Valley, Wyoming and loves going up there as often as possible. Unfortunately, due to his declining health, Honey isn't able to spend as much time as he would like in his beloved Star Valley.

Val's Mother was also born and raised in Star Valley. Just down the street from Honey. Caren's father, Grandpa Chadwick, was the bishop of the Fairview Ward for many years. In fact, his photograph still hangs in the Bishop's Office along with all of the other Bishops who've served the people of Fairview.

Honey with Val on Horse
(Val - 1 year)

Guess what? Val was born in Star Valley, too!

Being the only child of LaDell and Caren Bagley to be born there, he loves that unique fact. Yet another thing to set him apart from his siblings!

When Val was just 6 weeks old, Honey took his young wife and infant son to California. Off to make a life for he and his young family.

While living in California he really missed Wyoming. He missed the clouds, beautiful mountains, fishing, riding horses, visiting family and friends and rural surroundings and neighborly kindnesses big cities sometimes lack.

So, each summer his two week vacation was spent in Utah and Wyoming soaking in all that he missed.

Honey didn't miss Utah. His father and mother-in-law had moved from Afton to Murray, so they spent some of their vacation visiting the Chadwicks.

Three Generations of Bagley Boys
Honey, Val and Jared at Fairview Cemetery
(Memorial Day, 2009)

After Honey retired from SavOn Drug, he and Caren moved to Utah. While living in the Salt Lake are, Honey scouted out some property in Midway. This property enabled him to acquire horses and enjoy some of his favorite hobbies of yesteryear.

Honey, Paul and Shadow
(First Midway Home)

Eventually, they built a home on their property and moved to Midway. Often times folks would ask him why he didn't move back to Star Valley. His reply was always the same...

It's too cold!

Because his parents passed away unexpectedly in the early 1970s, their estate went to probate. To keep the property in the family, Honey continued to pay the property taxes. Year after year he'd pay. Finally, in the mid 1990s, he was able to buy out his siblings to become the sole owner of the B House and surrounding property.

Honey, Chad, Brandon and Andrew
in Honey's Truck
(Midway, Utah)

Although his visits are less frequent, Honey still loves to go to Fairview to spend time puttering around, visiting family and friends and reflecting on his life.

We love going spending time with him, too!

Thanks for the memories, Honey! We love you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ahhh! Summer Love

Yippy Skippy!

It's harvest time in our garden!


Sweet tomatoes!

Bring on the good eatin!

I love summer!

And Utah tomatoes!

Is this enough exclamation points for you? ;)