Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dihydrogen Monoxide, the evil truth!

Originally published on MySpace on Nov 29, 2007

Current mood:amused
I've been involved in researching this dangerous chemical (dihydrogen monoxide - DHMO) and all the efforts to ban it.  OMG, it's a truly horrific chemical and we MUST eliminate it from our world!! Here are some important facts you should know!!  (from

..>..> ..> ..>..>..>
Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide. Although his results are preliminary, Zohner believes people need to pay closer attention to the information presented to them regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide. He adds that if more people knew the truth about DHMO then studies like the one he conducted would not be necessary.
A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick also found that nearly 90 percent of the citizens participating in their study were willing to sign a petition to support an outright ban on the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the United States.

What are some of the dangers associated with DHMO?

Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:
..>..> ..> ..>..>..>
  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
Okay, Peeps, lets back up.... just what is this evil chemical, DHMO? 
Yes, it's just water - pure & simple!  Let's look at the information again....
"Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded...."
Let's google Nathan Zohner and find out just who he is....
"In 1997, Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old junior high student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, gathered 43 votes to ban the chemical, out of 50 people surveyed among his classmates. Zohner received the first prize at Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair for analysis of the results of his survey. In recognition of his experiment, journalist James K. Glassman coined the term "Zohnerism" to refer to "the use of a true fact to lead a scientifically and mathematically ignorant public to a false conclusion."
"A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick..."
Since I love 'googling' lets check out these two...
"In 1989, Eric Lechner, Lars Norpchen and Matthew Kaufman circulated a Dihydrogen Monoxide contamination warning on the UC Santa Cruz Campus via photocopied fliers. The concept originated one afternoon when Matthew recalled a similar warning about "Hydrogen Hydroxide" that had been published in his mother's hometown paper, the Durand (Michigan) Express, and the three then worked to coin a term that "sounded more dangerous". Eric typed up the original warning flier on Matthew's computer, and a trip to the local photocopying center followed that night.."
What an amazing amount of research went into their flyers!  Three of them worked to coin a term that sounded dangerous...
Now let's check out the real dangers point by point....
  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities. You can drown by inhaling as little as one thimble full of water.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage. Solid DHMO is also known as ice and severe tissue damage in this case is known as frostbite and can lead to amputation.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects. Bloating, sweating, urge to urinate and withdrawal causes certain death!
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain. Or any other rain for that matter! The acid part of acid rain is caused by particles of pollution in the air.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns. Gaseous DHMO doesn't alway cause severe burns but as steam, it certainly can!
  • Contributes to soil erosion. DUH!
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals. Let's refer to this as rust, k?
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits. Common sense tells us to keep our electronics away from water.... don't ever use your hair dryer in the tub, right? Think Mel Gibson in "What a woman wants"
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes. Car manufacturers will recommend that you lightly pump your brakes to dry them out after driving through a puddle.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions. It only makes sense since human body is 55-78% water.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks. Even dogs held in confinement are given food and water.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S. PULEASE - everyone knows that wind and water are the major damaging factors in major storms.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect. Ocean currents and their thermal variations are the causes of El Nino....
Still don't believe me?  Check it out here.... dihydrogen monoxide hoax
and while you are at it.... You have now taken notes on dihydrogen monoxide...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Month

Originally published on MySpace on Nov 1, 2007

Current mood:drained
I think it was the day after I wrote my last blog, September 29th.... Mom had a stroke.  Harriett called me home from work and I took her to the hospital where they began checking her out.  I don't really believe there are any really good tell-tale symptoms for stroke, but I should know better.  We only knew she was sick and wasn't able to stand on her own that day.  She'd had a headache for about a week. After a CAT scan which revealed bleeding in her brain they wanted to move her from that neighborhood hospital to LDS Hospital in downtown SLC.  It happened to be snowing that day so the preferred LifeFlight by helicopter was out of the question. We ran from Sandy to SLC "Lights & Sirens" in the ambulance.
Learn to Recognize a Stroke  It was a bit disconcerting to realize, later, that she had so many of the signs.
Mom spent only a few days in the hospital and was transferred to a skilled nursing facility (aka nursing home) in our neighborhood.  She hates it there and wants to come home very badly. We expect to bring her back home eventually when she gets her strength & ability to walk (assisted with a walker) back. In defense of the facility, she has a very nice room with a private bath, large TV in an armoire, sofa and rocker/recliner, table and two chairs.  It's very much like a small studio without a kitchen.  
She's not significantly different.  Her memory and hearing are bad, her speech not noticiably affected. The biggest affect has been visually - she can't see well on her left and it takes a few moments for her to focus and see people approaching her. In retrospect I did see signs of her vision problems prior to her hospitalization, but she didn't complain and I didn't comprehend it at the time.  I could be sitting across the room, slightly to her left and she would say I'd left and come back when I had never left the chair.  I didn't understand what it meant until later.
I feel like a failure as a daughter through this.  I can't dispell her displeasure with where she's at by bringing her home until she is ready to come home. At times I wonder if she is ready and I am delaying it for my own convenience. My days are spent at work and then visiting her and then home to collapse and do nothing. The next day: repeat.  Some days I get so fed up listening to her repeat the same things over and over so I turn on her tv to help me pass the time. I know she doesn't like it but I can't sit and answer the same questions she's asked yesterday, the day before and several times this day. ARGH!!
I guess that is enough complaining.  It does help to just get it out.

3:20 PM
Post a comment...

    Katlanga SkyCherry Sending you lots of love and hugs! xoxoxoxox
    3 years ago

    ~~>Kim's talkin' trash! FAILURE?!?!? Never! You're going through one of the most difficult times with your mom right now, and handling things very well. Just keep doing what you're doing. You can't change what she's going through and the simple fact that you're there with her is more than many others accomplish.

    Chin up, my friend, and hugs to you!
    3 years ago

    Jeannie Corby Becker Ah sweetie you will never be considered a failure in your mom's eyes. We all have seen the signs that something is not right BUT we do not realize we saw these signs prior to the actual happening.

    You have cared for your mom as best as you could. She knows that. You know in your heart that she is not ready to come home just yet. You need to take each day as it comes. Maybe you could have someone else in the family visit her every other day so you can take a break. There is nothing wrong in taking time for yourself. You need to take this time and build up your strength so you are healthy to care for her when she comes home. If your are exhausted you will be of no good to her.

    Keep your chin up and I will say a few extra prayers for you and your family.

    3 years ago

    ♥Cid not so Vicious♥ I'm not sure which is more difficult--a parent caring for a child or a child caring for a parent. When the roles are reversed, it is just so hard for all. You are doing the best that you can and your mom is getting the care that she needs. When the facility feels she is ready to go home, she will.

    Like Kari said, we are here when you need to vent. Keep smiling, Betsy, things will get better before you know it. Hugs!
    3 years ago

    Kari Fisher Williams (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( BIG OL HUGGGGS ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    You are NOT a failure. I think it is respectful of you to take care of your mother and you are doing a fine job. It is not an easy undertaking.

    Remember we are here for you if you need to vent!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Originally published on MySpace on Sep 25, 2007

Current mood:amused
There really are only two seasons in Utah. 
This is evident by the fact that one day I go out barefoot to get my mail and my feet are burned by the hot cement. The next day looks exactly the same but I get frostbite on my toes when I go to get the mail. ARGH!!
But I do love seeing the snow on the mountains right behind me!  Love love love it!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This & that and a cat story

Originally published on MySpace on Sep 16, 2007

Current mood:contemplative
I moved my computer the other day and it's become an out of site out of mind sort of thing.  In a way that is good because I really need to start concentrating on preparing to move.  Only someone who has ever visited me can fully appreciate that concept. 

I read and enjoyed a few blogs this a.m. - something else that has slipped by me for a long while. One of those blogs inspired me to write my own about a cat in a tree. This goes way way back but it suits my mood today. I woke up and lay in bed for quite some time thinking about the cats in my life and this particular cat is fondly missed. 

DeTour came into my life via my husband. The poor man thought that my statements about Tora needing a "friend" were serious and one day brought home a sweet little kitten. The kitten wasn't much more than a ball of fluff with a short very fluffy tail. When you moved your hand down that tail though, you realized that it was a normal length but had a few dozen kinks in it going in all directions.... thus the name, DeTour. ..

I was appalled that Mark would bring a kitten home to vie for Tora's attention. Tora did not take to the new roomie at all and firmly let him know that she was top cat in this house!!  Thus DeTour grew up knowing he was the beta cat.  

A few months later DeTour went into heat and put an end to my puzzlement about where his little family jewels were and why we never saw them. We got him fixed asap but never stopped calling her a he.  It just didn't seem right by then. 

One day I came home from work and could not find my DeTour.  I rode my bike around my neighborhood calling for him without any response. I was panicky and worried.  When Mark came home from work we began to look some more. Finally we heard a little "meow" and followed the sound to a tree across the road from our house.  DeTour was indeed 'treed.'  He was being held captive in that tree by another cat a few feet below him.  We had no idea how long this hostage situation had been in play, but assumed it was the better part of a full day. 

Mark climbed the tree, scaring the terrorist cat away and grabbing the not so mild DeTour for his rescue. If you have ever held a frightened cat you know they want to exude bravery and will fight their way out of your arms. The frightened kitty was passed to me and I transported him quickly across the road and placed him (let him fly out of my arms) into our yard where he seemed to magically disappear (beep-beep ZOOM!). My husband and I went around the house to the back yard where we found him in the garden furiously digging a hole and then proceeded to pee for what seemed about ten minutes. Goodness - he must have been in that tree two days!!

We always laughed about his dire situation, having to pee so bad while being bullied by a neighborhood cat. I wondered why he didn't just pee on the cat below him and make his escape.  As you know, cats are creatures of habit and as soon as he finished his minutes long pee, he went into the house, straight to the litter box, and did his other business. He truly was a house cat.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Airport Musings...

Originally posted on MySpace on Aug 27, 2007

I love to fly and the trip between SLC and Denver was particularly beautiful. I cannot help but to look at the landscape (geology) below me and marvel at what has taken place over thousand s or millions of years to make it look that way. It is spectacular and never ceases to captivate and amaze me.  I also was in love with the clouds in the distance and those drifting between us and the earth. At one point the clouds below me looked so much like sheep wool. They were shaded by the clouds above us and appeared more of a yellow/beige than snowy white. I could literally feel my fingers digging into the clouds and feeling like the sheep beneath all that wool was not to be found.  It was like being at the state fair. Also, state fair-like were the clouds in the distance that were stretched across the sky like white cotton candy being spun onto its tube.  We know that we can sit and gaze at clouds on spring days and see all sorts of things in them, but for me this was an entirely different perspective and very tactile provoking, if there is such a thing.
It was a good visit to my new city to be, but I am still not entirely reconciled to living there. I guess in some ways it's unfortunate that I have come to love Utah so much. I have too much left in Utah to see and not enough time.  Cincy, although experiencing a drought, is so much more like Seattle in its greenness. There are deciduous trees everywhere – but alas, no mountains of any sorts.  The landscape is full of rolling hills and that was unexpected to me and a very nice surprise.  Mark and I spent Friday afternoon and all day Saturday exploring neighborhoods and suburbs and were not seeing a lot that inspired us. Or, if it did, it wasn't in our budgeted range – of course! Mark took me to a small community called Mariemont and it was a neighborhood to fall in love with. Unfortunately, according to our Cincinnati  guide book, there is very little turnover in that neighborhood (being so highly desireable and only about 1 mile square.  The next neighborhood we liked was the one our past neighbors from Seattle live in. And there is even a house for sale next door to them – how weird would that be to become neighbors again four years later and thousands of miles from our original neighborness?  Even our dogs are old friends!  LOL. We also liked an area near Milford where we could build a brand spankin' new house. So far that is our favorite option – we just have to find another location without high voltage overhead power lines or too near the freeway. The freeway wasn't visible but it was audible – above the sounds of the cicadas….  How loud can a bug be, anyway???
Middle age crisis… I have a new (to me, anyway) theory on middle age crisis. I never thought I would be particularly bothered by aging and yet I get ideas and desires that seem totally out of line with my age and abilities. So my new theory is that MAC is worse now than ever simply because of the speed our world is changing. There is so much more to see, do and even know about than when my mother was my age. And things are changing faster and faster all the time. So while I may be able to do a few things that I never even imagined while I was a kid, there will be so many more coming along continually. Will I ever be comfortable that I have done all I want? And I won't even go into regrets – the opportunities missed. I've always believed that where I am is where I am supposed to be and anything I "missed" was simply a part of getting me here. I still do believe that, so can I even allow myself to think about things I wish I'd done? Hm…  Perhaps I really should start believing in reincarnation and simply plan for my future instead of revisiting my past.
Because there are so very many random thoughts whirling around in my head I came up with a new name for myself. I don't know if Badonkadonk will ever return simply because there are so many other fun names. Along with my Gypsy name WaUtOh I have added SeaSanCin… the first three letters of the last three cities I have (or will) lived in. I think it kind of has a ring to it.  Or perhaps I have just been reading to many fantasy novels with odd named characters.  Once upon a time SeaSanCin WaUtOh looked down upon the Emerald City, across the Ohio River from the slopes of the Wasatch Mountains…
9:50 PM
Post a comment...

    ♥Cid not so Vicious♥ "...ideas and desires that seem totally out of line with my age and abilities..."
    Age is just a number, nothing more. You can do anything that you want and don't let anyone tell you differently.
    Cincinnati sounds pretty cool. I hope you will like it there. Any chances for a photoblog?
    Have a good day, Betsy! ♥
    3 years ago

      Betsy Gully Age, real number: 51 - mental number - 20 or 30-something...
      Abilities.... 70 or 80-something....
      3 years ago

    Jeannie Corby Becker Cincy Does have a Soccer Club!!!!

    They have a website:

    as well as a myspace page:

    They have adult soccer leagues as well. Yeah!!!!!!!!!! You will still have your Soccer!
    3 years ago

    Jeannie Corby Becker SeaSanCin what a wonderful new name. Isn't it amazing how much we wish we could move back to our original homes and then when we have to move to yet another city we want to stay in the city we wanted to leave from. What a roller coaster of emotions.

    Ohio what a difference from Utah and Washington, it is like for me Pennsylvania to Las Vegas to Iowa! Only I have about 45 other cities and places to add in between too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Love to Go a Wandering

When my husband and I talked about moving to Utah it was a no-brainer for me.  I'd visited the Salt Lake area a few times and had always said to myself, "Self, we could live here."  When it became a reality I was all for it. 
I LOVE it here. My neighbors, my neighborhood, my home, my yard and garden, the mountains that rise up to the sky behind us... It's a hundred times better than I ever thought it would be. 
And now we are going to leave it.  It won't be for another 18 months, but I am sad to go already.
Mark's job is as a Safety Director and he creates safe working environments, programs and strategies for the employees. Part of that job is handling worker's comp and general liability claims. In the first year in Utah he was instrumental in saving the company over $million just by better management of claims and safe work practices. Recently, the company decided to hand the claims aspect over to a TPA and take it away from the Safety Directors in all divisions. This decision didn't eleminate Marks job but took a portion of it off his desk. It also created a need for two people to oversee nationally the TPA, work with them and manage claims and law suits over a certain value. 
Mark was interested in that position from the git-go. He inquired and found that it could not be located here in Utah so he didn't apply.  He did ask about it on several occasions indicating that he was interested but wouldn't move his family until Krissy graduates. 
Last Friday he got a call and was told they would be making him an offer. SHOCK!!  The offer allows him to perform the job from Utah for one year and then begin relocation to Cincinnati. After a little negotiation he accepted the offer. Incredibly, our kids are excited and happy about this opportunity for him. Of course it means we will be better able to help with college for them, so factor that in...
I have such mixed feelings.  We lived in one house in Seattle for 20 years and I was soooooo ready to move. I always thought I would like to move a little more often but moving is expensive. The move to SLC was over $70,000 and fortunately, the company pays that. They will pay for the move to Cincy, too. I love new places and learning my way around and 'discovering' all there is to discover, but I am not done discovering here yet. We'll have only spent 3 years in Utah - I guess I better get busy exploring a little quicker.
I wish I had visited Cincy before. I would have a better feeling for it and maybe a little less reluctance. We will have major league baseball again - yeah!!  We will be back in a big city instead of a small city - yeah!!  It will be humid - boo!!  Liquor laws will probably make more sense, and I might be able to buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket - yeah!!  I might be able to find another volksmarch club - yeah!!  I might be able to get my scrapbook business going again - yeah!!  I might just come to love it there as much as here - yeah!!
And since there is no skiing in Cincy, maybe we'll just have to join a travel club and take real vacations for a change - YEAH!!! 
If anyone can tell me anything about Cincy, Ohio, Kentucky - please do - I've ordered some books but would love to hear the details first hand!
That's all - I've rambled enough. 

Monday, May 7, 2007


(originally posted on MySpace)

It's been one year since Maren jumped off the Aurora Bridge to her death.  We'll never know or understand why, but we do know the hurt and pain she left us with.  Will it ever go away?  
We've promised to never forget her, but even without a promise, how could we?  She was an amazing girl. Not yet 16 at the time of her death, she was smart and pretty and athletic.  She was very well liked by her friends and she was one of those rare girls who liked and was kind to everyone.  
My heart especially aches for her family today. The two sisters she left behind, her mom and dad. I can't even pretend to imagine their pain.  
Maren, I truly believe you acted in anger and haste and would not have jumped had you stopped to think.  Such a horrid act that can never be undone.  We'll always miss you and always wonder what you would have become and done had you lived on. 
I hope your soul is in peace.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This 'n That

(Previously posted on MySpace)

It's so "Seattle" today in my back yard.  The precip is sleet instead of rain, but it's coming straight down out of a seattle-gray sky.  The patio is shiney wet and the only action is an occasional birdie scooting along the grass to duck for cover under an evergreen.  
I'm happy spring is back. Aside from my 'mia' tulips, I have bunches of lovely daffy-dils and the prettiest green foliage on the trees that separate our yard from our back-door neighbor.  The yard is a good size yard with a trampoline and basket ball court, so we don't feel boxed in, just more private. 
Since I am off work today I may have to zip up and go to the nursery. I have some fun plans for the front of the house that will translate into fall & winter venues after summer flowers have had their stay. It's time to get the veggies planted and Mark has a new toy to use in that garden.  Pictures will follow once we get to work.
Any ideas for a nice, not too intrusive, vine-like plant to grow along our back cyclone fence?  I love clematis but had no success with it last year. I've thought about a champaign grape that a friend of ours grew in WA - but I don't know how it would winter.  We do have concord grapes flowing over from a neighbor's yard, by the apricot tree, so I am a little hopeful that it could work. 
Our mountains were so incredible this morning when I took Krissy to school.  The clouds were high above them, just out of reach of the peaks, and the sky must have been clear on the back side of the mountains, for the sun had lit the lower underside puffs a light yellow in contrast to the upper grayness. The mountains below are just tipped with the last of our snow and below that flowed like green fabric to the tree line, otherwise known as the house line. 
From one view a double row of street lights was twinkling right at the base.  Would have been an awesome photo if not for all the phone lines.  I am so in love with this area. I love that the mountains are so close in our back yard!
No matter where you are there is beauty. Take time and stop to enjoy and appreciate it.  Read the Alchemist and you will begin to understand the wonder of a grain of sand.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mom's home!

(from my former MySpace blog)

Mom came home from the hospital today and she is doing well!  When we got to the house I asked her if she wanted me to get her wheel chair to get inside or her walker. She's been sick and off her feet since Friday so I assumed she would want the wheel chair.  But oh, no!  She wanted her walker and negotiated two ramps into the house in a rather fast pace for her.  (Just a smidge faster than a snail's pace...). I am rather impressed and very happy.  She's sitting up in the living room reading her usual assortment of catalogs (that's a blog for another day...)
Most importantly, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and healing thoughts, hugs & any other positive energies you sent our way. It's amazing how important and helpful that energy is!!  Hugs right back to all of you, my friends!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wasted days and wasted nights...

(from my former MySpace blog)

Not really wasted in the alcoholic sense or the true sense... 
Mom is in the hospital again... 2nd time in two weeks.  It's a strain and a drain to spend so much time in the ER.  I think our shortest time spent in ER is 4 hours.  That was today.  
She had another spell and this time we called the paramedics. I think that has probably been her plan all along... get three incredibly good looking guys to come fuss over her and take her away in a huge fire truck.  I have to say I did offer to take her place in the truck.... 
Don't know yet what is wrong.  This time they said she is very anemic and gave her two units of blood.  In the a.m. they will do an endoscopy (right word?) to see if she is bleeding in her stomach.  I hope they don't want to send her home after only one night again.  She's just too weak to come home so soon. 
On the up side... I should have my Phoenix photos back by tomorrow and I got a little promotion at work.  Woot Woot. 
I should be in bed now, asleep, but I feel a bit wound up.  Send up your good thoughts and prayers, k?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Phoenix a hecka long way from Sandy, UT. Especially by car. But OMHeck, there is such incredible scenery between the two.  And I love Love LOVE road trips!
Unfortunately I left home without my camera, or maybe fortunately because I would still be in the car on the road if I had stopped to photo every awesome sight I saw. 
Of course leaving Sandy means driving through the amazing mountains that surround my home.  Traveling south the mountains change dramatically in shape and color and although sometimes the scenery stretches for miles without a significant change, it's all so unbelievably beautiful that long stretches are simply okay and easy to "endure." The colors and textures of the landscape, living or mineral, are such a gift to the eyes and spirit. From sea to shining sea our country is amazing.
And I still have not seen the Grand Canyon.  I can't even imagine what kind of an impact that will have on me when the day comes. 
Now, ten or eleven hours after leaving home (no, we didn't run away, everyone knows where we went...) we are enjoying our down time before bed and in just another 12 hours will be sitting in the stands ready to enjoy spring training watching the Mariners.  Woot woot!!  I miss my Mariners since they aren't on TV in Utah and these three games in the next three days will have to be my 'fix' for this season. Phoenix is having record breaking high temps right now - should be an interesting time!  I have my sunscreen and peanuts... just waiting for that first pitch!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the head of a shooter

What goes on in the head of a shooter?  Just recently we watched a program on the Columbine massacre and now, within days, a shooter kills five people in a local mall.  A mall I did some of my Christmas shopping in. A mall I take visitors to shop at. A mall where many innocent people were spending a nice evening and suddenly and forever lost their sense of safety and security.  Don't I live in one of the safest places in America?  
As often seems the case, the shooter was a young man, only 18 years old. What pain caused him to do this?  What possible satisfaction could he receive in taking innocent lives?  There is no indication of any connection with the mall that I have heard of. Why did he want to hurt people he didn't know and had no connection to? 
In some weird sense I can understand terrorism related to religion. A little part of me can step inside the head of the postal worker who's been fired, or the man who shoots his x-wife, judge and lawyer in court.  But I just cannot stretch the limits of my brain towards any kind of understanding of a shooter that kills for the sake of the thrill.
I am in pain for the five dead and their friends and family. The injured and the survivors.  The people at the mall last night are all victims, they all lost something. Perhaps all of us in this city have. 
My heart goes out to the family of the shooter. I know they are not responsible, but how do you deal with this being at the hands of your son? 
What could he possibly have been thinking???
(from my former MySpace blog)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Very Big Grin

Many many years ago, in a far off land called the Land of Rain (Seattle) we were a host family for Japanese students. 
One of the local Universities had an IEL (Intensive English Language) program which had many Japanese students in it.  The Japanese students, more than those of any other country, preferred homestay housing over other choices. Another college offered the middle year of a three year Japanese program in Hospitality (Hotel and Restaurant Services). They did the first and third year of school in Japan but the middle year was out of country to better learn other languages and cultures.  Both of these programs placed Japanese college students in local homes for approximately 9 months.
In the course of our experience as a homestay family we had 4 boys and one girl. Every student who stayed with us was very different from the others, such a good lesson in stereotypes and overcoming expectation.  Of course they were similar in their cultural uniformity, but personalities went from one extreme to the other.
My favorite was our first student, Shigeki.  Unfortunately, he was with us the shortest time, too. 
Naoyuki (Nao for short - sounds like "Now") was the most energetic, enthusiastic and outgoing of all of them.  He traveled around the states and into Mexico on a rail pass on his holidays. He played softball on our co-ed softball team with us and was generally very gregarious.
Hironori (Hiro - "Hero") was perhaps the most involved with his Japanese friends in his classes and not around as much.
Toru was the oddest of them all.  He was seriously mentally disturbed and we actually were a bit relieved when he asked to be re-assigned to a new homestay family.
The last student we had was a girl named Akiko.  She had the most difficult time of all adjusting to our culture and particularly our family. My daughters were small and the time and I was working full time and not very patient. Unfortunately, I raised my voice to my kids too often and they cried as kids do. 
Today, I received a customer referral from my Close to my Heart business.  Somehow Akiko had contacted them via email and requested a referral to me.  When I saw the referral I was amazed at the name I saw on it.  I emailed her immediately. 
We have been emailing back and forth for the past hour. It's so exciting!  She is 30 years old now (OMHeck, how did that happen????).  
I love the things we can do via the internet now days!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I love surprises, don't you? Well, maybe not the STD, unplanned pregnancy, in-laws dropping in or flat tire in the pouring rain type of surprises, but the good ones. The ones you plan and execute for the sole purpose of pleasing someone. This is what I am working on right now. A birthday present for my husband… and of course presents are always surprises, right? This one involves us both taking five days off and… um, I guess that's all I am going to say. He knows about the time he has to take off, but so far that is all he knows about. I can't let it slip before his birthday!! Lets just say I can hardly wait and I am very excited about it!!
I had a great day at work today. I heard a story from a customer about her nickname "honderwoman." It came from a goof she made years ago in high school. Making an announcement over the PA system, she tried to say, "Hearts grow fonder," which came out "Farts grow honder." Imagine all your teachers and classmates hearing that and bursting out into spontaneous laughter .
I countered with a story of a minister introducing the Christmas play and asking the congregation to be sure to turn off their cell phones and vibrators. True story. 
The final story, the one I feared would permanently lose me a set of customers (but could I refrain from telling it? NO!) was about sharing our joys and concerns in church one spring Sunday many years ago. An elderly gentleman decided to share his joy of spring's arrival and stood to make his comment that the trees lining the parking lot had the biggest furriest pussies on them he'd ever seen. Again, true story.
(from my former MySpace blog)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Life List re-visited

Some one asked me about my "life list" recently and I was embarrassed to realize I had totally forgotten about it. Today it's time to bring it forward and add to it.  It's a worthless tool if I let it rot in the archives of my blog and don't revisit it and keep it active. 
This is my life list as I started it some time ago:
My Life List:
1. Be healthy and live healthfully
2. Be a good daughter and show more patience to my mother
3. Keep in touch with those I love and who love me
4. Be more 'available' to my family
5. Walk every single day
I am pleading the fifth on how I am applying it daily to my life.  Here are some things I am adding today:
6. Be proactively involved in the evolution of my kids.
7. Actively seek out wisdom of others and apply it to my personal growth.
8. Tune up bike and begin to ride it.
9. Create a "do it now" attitude.
Perhaps this time I should print out my list! 
Did you start one?  Want to share?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Another Day

The flat light of 7:00 am fills the valley that is my home in Utah. The sky is blue with light but the sun is not "up" yet. The mountains surrounding me appear painted flat on the sky in shades of white and gray. The community nestled below and to the south of me appears as a splatter of golden lights as though flicked there off the end of a paintbrush. 
By the time I leave my daughter at the door of her school the tips of the western mountains begin to glow with the arrival of direct sunlight. As the glow slides slowly down the slopes the mountains assume their majesty as the flatness melts away. Another day is born into beauty.
Don't ever forget to stop and smell the roses.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ignorance once more raises it's ugly head...

The subject of GSA clubs in Utah schools is now before the Utah Legislature.... 
The extreme ignorance or homo-phobia of people like Sen. Chris Buttars would be humorous if it weren't so frightening. Our entire family was in on the discussion when this was in the news recently.  Allow me to present just one of the ridiculous quotes from the article....
"Committee chairman Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, hopes the bill will allow schools to request a change in the name of the gay-straight alliances, which he feels is inherently sexual in nature.  
    "I don't know how you can have a term that describes someone's sexuality and say it is not in that realm," he said.
    Hughes would rather see tolerance clubs or anti-discrimination clubs, removing the gay specific terminology."
... a rose by any other name.....
My daughter Krissy had an awesome response to this.  Rather than call the club a GSA, she suggested calling it a "Homo Club."  After all, she explained, we are all homosapiens.....  
I love my kids!!!!
Check out Krissy's blog on the subject. This is a kid with passion!!