Sunday, August 26, 2018

Our New Home In Public Quarters

We had waited a long time for our move into Public
Quarters and were looking forward to it. 

George's brother, Jack, was coming from Garden Grove
to help us move.  He came on a Friday.  By Sunday,
we were moved, and he was on his way home.

The first thing on our agenda was to buy a table and
chairs for our dining area, and a bed for the master

Formica and Chrome tables were the rage at that time.
We found one we liked. The formica table top was a
silver gray color and it came with an extension and six
chrome and yellow chairs.  We found a bed and
dresser, and had it all delivered.  With a place to eat
and sleep, we were feeling much better.

We didn't get anything else done that first week.  George
had duty and couldn't leave the base and it was taking
all of my energy to get settled into my new job at
Solar Air Craft Co.  When I got home late in the
afternoon, it would be time for me to prepare our
dinner.  George was tired when he came home.  We 
didn't feel like doing anything around the house.
We just wanted to eat, relax, and talk about our day.

Some mornings when he left for work, he told me he
would bring our dinner home from the restaurant or
commissary, on base.  I liked it when he did.  It gave
us two or three hours to do a few things before we
went to bed.

I liked my job, but it had been a challenge settling in.  It
was different than any job I had worked previously.  I
worked in the Parts Department as the secretary to the
Department Manager.  I had always worked as a
secretary and stenographer, but this was very different.
My title was officially, Secretary and Statistical

Everything in the Parts Department was numbers.
When I interviewed for the job, I was hired as the
secretary to the Manager of the department.  His
current secretary was retiring in two weeks.  They
hired me ahead of her retirement and had me working
as a File Clerk for those two weeks.  I was told they
wanted me to get comfortable with numbers and the
filing system.  There were literally hundreds of filling
cabinets.  They filed by category and within the different
categories, they filed by numbers.  The numbers for each
part could have as many as fifteen numerals and four
letters.  For a while, I was completely overwhelmed.  It
didn't take me long to understand why I did nothing
but file for two weeks.

My boss's name was Mr. Peabody. He was in his late 30s.
He was a wonderful man.  He was very professional, but
was kind and soft spoken.  He lived on the beach in
Cardiff By The Sea.  When I told him of my love for,
and fascination with, the ocean and how much I loved
walking on the beach, he told me that he was a surfer
and scuba diver.  After that, he would often share his
ocean experiences with me.    

Dictation wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, with all
of the numbers.  I took dictation in shorthand, except  for
the numbers, those he read to me and I wrote the numbers
down.  That was a relief to me.  I had been wondering how
the numbers were handled during dictation..

I was occasionally needed to take dictation from someone
other than Mr Peabody, and I was often sent to the file
room to pull invoices.  It was a job where I could not afford
to get careless.

I loved the people in the Parts Department.  We were a family.
I made lots of friends.  I had two very close friends, Helen and
Betty.  They were both near my age and were service wives.
We ate lunch together every day and often did something
together on "off" days.  I never disliked going to work.
George and I loved our neighborhood.  It was clean and very
pleasant.  Just a block away was a large grocery store and a
movie theatre.  Even though we shopped and went to movies
on base, it was wonderful to have these opportunities near
us.  Sometimes, we just wanted to be off base away from
the military life, for a short time. 

Our life continued to get better and more exciting.  Toward the
end of 1953, we made  a life changing purchase.  WE BOUGHT
OUR FIRST CAR, a 1953  red and black Nash Rambler  It was
a classy, sporty, little car.  We were over the moon.  We had been
married for over 2-1/2 years without a car.

TO BE CONTINUED. . . . . . .

Friday, August 24, 2018

We Move

We loved living in our beautiful apartment in Hillcrest,
but we were ready to move closer to The Naval Training
Center, in San Diego, where George would be working
for his entire four year tour of duty in the Navy.

When George was told that he would be stationed at the
Naval Training Center for his entire four years, we
decided to put our name on the waiting list for
housing.  There were two ways to go; Navy Housing
and Public Quarters.

Navy Housing was two story barrick style apartments.
They had no yard, but shared a common courtyard for a
designated number of apartments.

Public Quarters were two story four-plexes.  Each
apartment had it's own fenced back yard with grass,
a tree, and some plants.  There was a narrow strip
of shared grass in front of each building.

Navy Housing was cheaper rent and the waiting list was
much shorter, but we did not want it.  We wanted to get
a dog, which was allowed in Public Quarters, and were
hoping to have a baby before George's enlistment was
up.  We chose a two bedroom unit.  When we  put our
name on the waiting list, we were told that they could
not tell us how long we would have to wait.

Our last visitors in Hillcrest were Pete and Delores.
They were married on June 22,1953, and spent several
days of their honeymoon with us.  At the time we didn't
know they would be our last visitors in Hillcrest..

I had been working for Marie Burch, who owned The
World Wide Employment Agency.  She ran it with her
daughter, Lisa, as her only employee. When I was looking
for a job, I went to her agency.  She took an immediate
liking to me, and so did Lisa, who was my age and
engaged to a young man who was in the Air Force,
stationed in Texas.  Marie waved my fee and I became her
secretary and receptionist,which then freed Lisa to be
her full time assistant.  I became Lisa's secretary, also.
It was a wonderful job.  Marie became my surrogate
mother, and it was as if she had two daughters.  Lisa and I
were very good friends.  They made sure I was never
alone when George had duty.  The three of us ate lunch
together every day, unless we had errands to run.

It was a very happy time in my life, but sadly that time
was soon to end.  Shortly after Pete and Delores left to
return home, Marie called Lisa and I into her office.  She
told us she had stage 5 breast cancer.  It was terminal and
had spread to her lungs.  She was given just a few weeks
to live.  Lisa and I were shocked and very sad.  We had
shared with each other the fact that we knew Marie was
sick, but she never admitted it to us, even when she couldn't

She told me she was in the process of finding me a job and
assured me she would try and find me one that was near
the Naval Base and Public Quarters.  She told Lisa she
could choose which family member she wanted to live with,
or she would get her settled in her own place, near family.

It was a sad time,I especially felt sorry for Lisa.  She moved
her wedding date forward and changed it into a small
intimate affair, hoping her mother would be  able to attend..
Marie refused to leave until Lisa was married.  She was
an amazing and strong, woman.

Things worked out wonderfully for me.  She found me a job at
Solar Aircraft Company, which was just three or four miles
from the Naval Base and Public Quarters. It was a long bus ride
for George and I.  He had been doing it the whole time we lived
in Hillcrest, but it was a big adjustment for me.  It was fun, though,
depending on George's schedule, we often rode the same bus.

Fortunately, we didn't have to do this for long.  In answer to our
daily prayers, in the first week of August 1953, our name was
called to move into our lovely home in Public Quarters.

TO BE CONTINUED. . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . .     

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Very Interesting Day

It has been a almost a year since
I have added anything to my blog.
I know I need to bring it up to date,
but right now, I do not know where
to begin.  I have been looking at the
notes I have jotted down for future
posts and still feel overwhelmed.

I saw this piece that I wrote years
ago and it made me laugh, once
again.  It will be out of context, but
perhaps that is what I need to do to
get me back on schedule.

So, I am going to go back 15- 1/2
years and clear my head with a
little bit of trivia.

May 10, 2002

Yesterday, I had a I had a very
interesting day.  I first, I wanted
to yell and scream and cuss, then
I wanted to cry;  Finally, I adapted
an "Oh,well" attitude, then it got
a little funny, and this morning, I.
find it hilarious.

This is the story of that day:  I
followed George out to his van,
through the garage, as he was
leaving to go to work at 7:00 a.m.
I was carrying some toast I had
made for him.  I was barefoot, hair
not combed, dressed in my little
short lounge dress (mumu type), no
bra, no slip, one of those flowered,
silky, pull over your things that all
of us sisters wear.

I have petunias in large pots by the
front gate.  I handed George his toast
and said, "I think I will give my
flowers a little water."  I stepped
through the gate to get the hose,
turned on the water and stepped
into the courtyard,  so no one could
see me, and began to sprinkle the
flowers.  George said, "Goodbye".
and drove away. I was just five
minutes, max.  I turned  off the
water, put up the hose and
stepped around to go into the
garage. and guess what?  Yup,
the door was  closed!  George
had shut it as he drove away.  I
wanted to kill him as I began to
say a fervent prayer.  "Send
George back, send George back,
PLEASE, send George back!"
When I realized that wasn't
going to work, my prayer became,
"Okay, if you can't send George
back, PLEASE don't let me have
to go to the bathroom.!"

It was only 7:10 a,m.  A couple of
men were leaving for work, but
there was no way, dressed the way
I was, I would have asked them, if
I could go into their house to make
a telephone call.  It was way to
early to go knocking on doors.
Some people from our church ward
live in the complex, but I couldn't go
strolling around, looking as I did, to
get to their house.  I also knew that if
I did get into their house, they would
insist that I stay until George came
home and that would have been

I didn't even know if George would
have his phone on, and big deal if he
did, I didn't remember his number.
I knew Flynn's would have his phone
number, but I had no way to call them.

I thought about asking one of the people
who had walked by on their morning
walk if they would go home, look up
Flynn's number and ask them if they
would call George and tell him to
come home and let me in the house.
I realized that was a stupid idea, if he
did have his phone on, he would be on
the freeway in the morning traffic on his
way to Peoria, Goodyear, or Litchfield,
all a long ways away.  Another thing,
Someone from Flynn's could very well
think they had to come and rescue me.

So, I went out the front gate to walk
around to the back of our unit.  When I
stepped through the gate, the huge Pit
Bull in the unit to the right, the tiny
Yorkie to the left, and the feisty little
pappillion across the street, all began
to bark at me as I circled around
looking for a weak spot.  None!  It
was comforting to know that a
burglar or serial killer would have a
difficult time breaking in.  Finally,
I said, "Okay, old gal, make the best
of this."  So, once again, I circled to
our little patio and could see that
when George got out of the spa last
night, he had not hung up his towel
and had just thrown it on a lounge chair.
For once, I was glad that all of my
griping at him for not hanging it, had
not intimidated him.  I was able to
reach through the grate and get it.
I causally strolled back around to
our front gate, dogs still barking at me.

By then, I had worked up an appetite
and was starving.  I had seen a bag of
grapefruit by the mail boxes.  Merril,
our clean up the complex every day".
guy, always has several bags of citrus
fruit from the fruit trees neatly bagged
and placed by the mailboxes" for the
residents to take.  Fortunately, the mail
boxes are just  a hop, skip, and a jump
away from us.   This time of the
morning, our courtyard is wonder-
fully shady.  I sat on George's towel,
peeled the grapefruit and ate them.
They were juicy and delicious.  I put
the peeling in the neighbors trash can.
I turned the hose on again and washed
my hands and the sidewalk.

"Okay", I thought, I have probably
killed an hour.  Now what?"  I snuck
next door and picked up my neighbors
newspaper, she had gone to work, her
daughter, to school.  I ignored the
barking Yorkie and spread George's
towel where I could lean against the
wall.  "I thought, "This is good,
without my glasses, it will take
me a long time to read the paper."
After I finished, I very carefully pit the
paper back together and spent fifteen
minutes searching for the rubber band,
which had fallen into a crack in the
sidewalk.  Even though I don't think she
would have minded, I wanted it to look
like I hadn't borrowed it.

By then, the sun was taking over the
courtyard, so I went by barking Pit Bull
(he is a pussy cat, our strange,  new
neighbor, has assured me, but that sure
does not sound like a cat meowing),
went around to the back where there was
some shade, thought about spreading
the towel on the grass and laying on it
with my arms crossed over my chest,
my hands clasping a bunch of Dandy-
lions, but the grass was very wet.

Every time, I walked around back, I
looked at the pool.  It was so beautiful
with the lovely furniture, a nice activity
room and a BATHROOM!  Of course,
it is all fenced and I would need my key
to get in and out.  But, right then all I
wanted was a chair and a drink of water.
I causally walked to the fence, carrying
George's towel.  I chose a spot in the
fence that was hidden from view of
the street.  Carefully, barefooted and in
my little 'thingie', I carefully climbed
over.  I was surprised at how easy it
was.  The first thing I discovered, was
that I also needed my key to get into
the bathroom  "Oh, well, I would just
have to be tough."  I went into the room
that opens to the pool and also has a
view of the entrance and the mailboxes.

By then, I was wondering what time it
was.  It seemed like I had been locked
out of my house forever.  Lo and Behold!
On the bar I discovered a wrist watch,
missing a strap but ticking merrily away.
It said it was 10:25.  If the time was right,
I had only been locked out for three hours
and ten minutes.  I sat in a chair where I
could watch cars come in and  go out.  I
put the beautiful watch in front of me and
thought, "Okay, if the mailman comes
in the next 15 to 20 minutes, I know the
watch is right."  He showed up right on

For awhile, the noise of the mailman
sorting the mail  and residents coming to
get theirs, kept me entertained, while I
prayed, "Please don't let anyone come to
use the pool, all the time chanting, "Send
George Home!   Since the mailman
could only see me from the neck up, I
thought about asking him to give me the
mail from Box 84.  I knew the TV Guide
would be there and it would have a cross-
word puzzle, but I didn't have a pencil
and my eyes were strained from reading
the newspaper without my glasses.

By now, it was pool time and I had a plan.
If anyone came, I would wrap George's
large towel around me like I had been in
the pool and had my suit on under my
little 'thingie'  I went to the sink at the
bar, wet my hair and combed it with my
fingers  If just one person came, I would
just kick back and act like I was relaxing.
If it was a group, I would just saunter
through the gate before it slammed shut
and locked.  There was no way I could
climb the fence again because it was prime
traffic, get your mail, catch up on the gossip,
time (Did you see that crazy lady climbing
the pool fence?  I think it is the old lady from
#84, she is always doing weird things, she
probably lost her key.)

I figured George could be home anywhere
from one to three hours..  I was killing time
having fun watching the old people come for
their mail.  I watched three elderly ladies
slowly make the trek, carrying their canes.
probably as protection from muggers. 

Oh no, here comes a lady to use the pool.
She is slim and trim, perfectly groomed and
wearing a beautiful blue swim suit.  I jump
up, wrap the towel around me run to sink,
wet my hair, run back, sit down, smile, give
her a pert wave and a cheery "Hello there!"

For awhile I covertly watch her use the pool
and spa and slather herself in sunscreen,

I have to decide, as she leaves, do I ask her to
open the restroom door for me or try to slip
out  the gate as she leaves?  Neither, because I
would still be locked out of the house, so I
just wave goodbye and continue to stare at
the road, waiting to see a white van.  FINALLY,
here it comes!  It is 1:00 p.m.  I run to the fence
and wait for George to get out of the van.  The
side he will get out, faces me.

In a sweet, happy voice, I call, "George".  He
looks startled and walks to the fence, looking
confused at my disheveled appearance.
With venom dripping , I snarl, "Use your
key and get me out of here., you shut the
garage door and drove away while I was
watering the petunias."  By then, he looks
upset, but I can tell he is laughing as he
unlocks the gate and sweetly says, "Are
you ready?"

I adjust the towel, we stop at the mailbox,
get the mail and stroll on home.  Off. and
on, throughout the day, he asks me,  "Are
you going to the pool today?" or, was it
nice at the pool today?"

Well that was my day yesterday.  As
George was  leaving for work this morning,     
he asked, " are you going to the pool today?"
And, in a voice I could barely hear, he said,
"Ina, I am shutting the garage door now."

Have a nice day and stop and smell the
flowers, but whatever you do, DON'T
water them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I am grateful for George and the loving
care he has given me as I face all of my
medical issues.  I  am glad he has his
leather work.  It is his comfort zone
and gives him something to do besides
worry about me..  He loves it.                                                                                           .

His talent is amazing and more awesome
with each piece he does.  He loves trying
different things.  This year his passion has
been making clocks and different styles
of purses.  They are amazing.  People,
including me, have come to think of him
as a miracle worker.

For Christmas this year, Rhonda asked
him to make little stirrup bag purses for
her six little granddaughters.  Their
mothers would ask them to chose their
favorite Disney Princess.  They would
also have their name on the purse which
would make them unique and personal for
each girl.  In addition, we decided he would
make one for our other fun and sassy little
great granddaughter, Ryann, who lives in
California.  She loves seeing her cousins at
our family Reunions and when they visit at each
others home.  It would be the perfect Christmas
gift from us.

The mothers would ask their daughters who their
favorite Disney Princess was. Ryann, Presley,
Mallory and Gracie chose a Princess.  It was fun
that they each chose a different one.  Rhonda
wanted a horse and flowers for Nixin, Harlee,
and Montana.  They love horses and want to be
cowgirls like their G-Mama.  Tooled and
painted, with different colors of suede inserts,
these little purses were adorable.

Since he had made purses for the girls, I asked
him to make wallets for our great grandsons,
Brexton and Ethan.

For Brexton's birthday in late October, he had
asked George to make him a clock featuring
Marvel Comic's villain, Deadpool.

He had recently made me a Mickey Mouse and
Friends clock,  I loved it so much I thought it
would be a perfect Christmas present for Marie.
She is my sister, Theresa's daughter and besides
being my niece, she is a dear friend.

Jenna loved these clocks so much, she asked
George to make clocks for her mother and
sister.  She wanted Humming Birds for her
mother and an African theme for her sister,
depicting Missy and her husbands 2 - 1/2
years living in Africa.

When he finished the Christmas gifts, for his
own pleasure, he made a a 12" by 20"
picture of Santa Clause driving a stagecoach
with four teams of horses.  It is called "A
Cowboy's Christmas".and has a "Merry
Christmas From Arizona"  Greeting.  He
framed it and attached tiny twinkling lights
around the frame.  It was such a happy
addition to our decorations.

His masterpiece was another 12" by 20"
picture of the last supper.  It is one of the
most amazing pieces he has done.  It is

See what I mean when I say we all think
he is a "Miracle Worker"?  in October,
November and December, he made six
purses two wallets, five clocks, and two

You would think he would want to rest
for awhile, but in January and February
he made two more clocks, one of "Bambi"
and one of  "The Lady And The Tramp"

Bambi was for Jared, Tracey's, son, his
wife Christy and their new baby
daughter Adley

"Lady And The Tramp" was for Rhonda.
The movie came out when she was a
little girl and it has always been her
favorite Disney movie.  It was a thank
you for all she does for us, especially
since there is now so much I can't do.
We sent the movie on DVD with each

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Panaca's Sesquicentennial Celebration July 2014

  I wanted to include this post on my blog even though it will not be in chronological order.  With health issues I have faced and not having access to my blog for a  period of time I am playing catch up. This is a letter I wrote to my family after the Panaca Sesquicentennial Celebration.

    Each day since we came home from our family reunion in Caliente and Panaca, I have said, 
"Get your letters written Ina", and before I know it, the day is done and the letters aren't.

  We had a wonderful time.  It was a special time for our family. I wish Craig's family could have been with us, but we were blessed the rest of us could be together.

  Young's RV Park in Caliente was a perfect place to stay.  It had all of the amenities with full hook ups on spacious sites.  It was wonderful that we could all be together surrounding our own little lawn.  It was clean and quiet.  The restrooms were convenient and clean.  A large grassy area was a good  area for Ethan, Brexton, Spur and Muggles to run and play. Our little girls, Ryann, Nixin, Presley, Montana, and Harlee, liked it too. Deer came twice a day and we enjoyed seeing a train go by several times each day. Our food was excellent and tasty and everyone did a fantastic job with their contributions. I relished every bite of it.

  And then Panaca,what can I say? It was an amazing celebration.  It was so well done. Panaca looked beautiful.  The Spring looked better than I have seen it look for a long time.  It was so much fun having the great grandchildren do the same things my dad did as a child, that my siblings and I did as children, and then we took our children and they took their children (our grandchildren), and they took their children (our great grandchildren), six generations of children swimming in the Spring,climbing the Court Rock, watching the Pioneer Day Parade and eating a delicious breakfast and dinner cooked by townspeople and boy scouts.

  Speaking of the parade, this was Panaca's best parade for 50 years, since their 100th birthday parade in 1964.  What child doesn't like a parade they can watch up close and personal, especially when everyone who goes by throws them candy and the end has fire engines with flashing lights and screaming sirens?

  The statue is beautiful and I was touched by the words inscribed on a plaque describing the strength,courage,sacrifice, and faith, of our Mormon Pioneer Ancestors.  Our family brick is great.  It was wonderful seeing the Wadsworth name inscribed on a special plaque listing the names of Panaca's early settlers.  I loved being honored with a special pin as a living descendant of Panaca's first settlers. The down side of receiving it, I had to be over 80, the up side, I was still here to receive it. However, since I wasn't able to hear what they were saying, thank you Paul and Rhonda for making sure I raised my hand.

  The N.J. Wadsworth & Son's General Mercantile Store, now the Panaca Heritage Center, looks fantastic.  There is a lot of history in that little store.  The collage of pictures Rhonda and I did of my parents,your Granny and Granddad, looks perfect where it is hanging.  You immediately see it when you step into the store.  That is only fitting as Dad/Granddad ran the store longer than any of the other proprietors.  He loved it and I loved it while I was growing up,and I still do. It had to be fun for you to see your Granny's red and white kitchen cabinet there. I could picture in my mind it being covered with donuts rising and waiting to be cooked and I am sure the grandchildren had the same picture in their minds.

  The little kids loved playing at Pete and Delores's, so many fun things to do.  It is another tradition for them to follow.  It was wonderful seeing family and renewing old friendships, with lots of laughs and a few tears shed (happy ones). Traditions are wonderful and I was thinking the only bad thing about staying in Caliente was that we missed hearing the 6:00 A.M. dynamite call on the 24th.

  Thank you to the moms, dads, grandmothers, and great grandchildren, for tie dying shirts to wear in Panaca.  Great idea, Rhonda, and I appreciate the fact you said you did it for me.  The shirts are fantastic, the kids and moms looked adorable (yes,even moms can look adorable). Everyone loved them.

  Speaking of shirts, thank you Justin, for buying me my Panaca Sesquicentennial shirt.  It is a very special gift. I am glad you heard me say I wanted one.  I still have the shirt I got at Panaca's Centennial Celebration.

  George and I have the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing, loving, funny, and often weird family we could ever have hoped for.  We thank each one of you for making this reunion trip to Panaca the answer to our prayers.  It means so much to us that Chris, Allison, and Jenna, love Panaca.  We know our little ones do, too.

  Thank you for all you did to make it so special for two old folks.  You took such good care of us, watched over us, made it easy for us, and shared it with us.  You even had a picnic for us at the Spring.  We are blessed. We love you so much.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


We had a lovely thanksgiving and Christmas holiday
season.  We went to Trey and Jenna's for Thanksgiving.
Like his Granddad, Trey is a marvelous cook.  The turkey
he cooked was one they raised on their farm, it was a
big one, weighing in at 30 pounds.  The butter, milk,
cream, and eggs that were used to prepare dinner, were
provided by their chickens and Betsey, their cow.  

Jenna was busy cooking vegies and delicious goodies
of many kinds.  Rhonda made the dressing and her
cranberry salad and some desserts.  Jenna's mother,
family members and guests brought their delicious
contributions to help make the dinner fabulous.  Jenna
was so sweet to make sure there were things I could eat
on my restricted diet.  For instance, she made me my 
very own mashed potatoes.

The children love to play on Trey and Jenna's farm.
They have lots of room, the freedom to run and play
and the animals that delight them.

Surrounded by the love and laughter of family and
friends, it truly was a day of Thanksgiving for the
many blessings George and I enjoy every day.

When I came home from the hospital, I was having
some challenges and George and I had to let a few
things go, like my Christmas letter.  George didn't make
cinnamon rolls this year, but with his help, I did get my
Christmas fudge made.  We didn't make as many flavors
as I have previously done but still a nice variety.  The
last few years, we have given our great grandchildren
their own gift of fudge and according to things they and
their parents have told us, it is one of their favorite gifts
to receive.  Brexton and Nixin have both told us that it
great that they can now eat as much of their own fudge
as they want and they don't have to share it as everyone
has their own.  We all miss Cote so much during the 
holidays but I think he knows that we love him a lot.
He loved the fudge.  We always have some for him
and when Rhonda delivers her and Steve's gift to him,
she also takes ours.

We all went to Steve and Rhonda's for our traditional
Christmas breakfast, to open gifts and watch the children
play.  There is so much for them to do there with lots of
room to run and play.  They love to climb on the stack
of hay bales and Papa has even made them a big pile
of dirt that they love to play in.  What child would not 
love playing in the dirt?  G-Mama and Papa have made
it a fun place for their grandchildren to play.  They love
G-Mama's horses and dogs.  Their five sons' families
have given them 16 grandchildren.  And George and
I are blessed to have beautiful and amazing great

Rhonda's Christmas breakfast is always wonderful and
very delicious.  It is also rich with tradition.  I can no
longer eat all of the traditional holiday foods, but there
is plenty of the good stuff I can eat.  I have to say that
I did miss the dressing, eggnog, and pies, but the diet I
am on has done wonders for my health, now if it would
only make me skinny, LOL!  Who needs all of the food
anyway, when I am surrounded by my amazing family?

The holidays were especially joyous the year with the
birth of two more great grandchildren.  Trey and Jenna
welcomed an adorable boy, Bradley Rex Colburn, on
October 1st, and Brinton and Allison welcomed a
beautiful girl, Harlow Jaylyn on December 7th.  Of 
course, they are perfect and absolutely wonderful.

We love our Christmas traditions.  It always amazes
me how excited the children are to observe them each
year.  Including my generation, it is now the fourth
generation to observe them.  The children can't wait
to make and decorate sugar cookies and build their
Gingerbread Houses.  Brexton and G-Mama have
started a tradition of Brexton making a train instead
of a house. 

George and I went to Brinton and Allison's to watch
Nixin, Presley, Montana and Harlee build and decorate
their houses and Brexton assemble and decorate his train.
I think part of the fun of this tradition is eating as much
of the candy as they use to decorate.  It is okay, though,
as G-Mama always brings a truck load of candies of all

There was pizza to eat and two precious babies, Bradley
and Harlow, to love and snuggle.

We miss Paul and Joanne, Chris and Jeni, and Ethan
and Ryann  We would love to see Ethan and Ryann build
and decorate their houses.  It is wonderful that their proud
grandparents and Uncle Justin are there to join them in the
fun.  I love it that even our adult grandchildren who don't
have children yet, still observe this tradition, usually while
watching and helping the little ones.  I love it that even
though we are separated from some of our family by
distance, we are together in our hearts and the spirit of the
holidays.  We do always see Paul and Joanne and their
family sometime during the Christmas season.  They
came for New Year's this year and we celebrated another
Family Tradition of eating with them at the Golden
Corral Restaurant.  Ethan and Ryann love their Arizona
cousins.  They have been wanting to ride Aunt Rhonda's
horse.  So, with their cousins, they had a wonderful
time riding Santannah.  They didn't want to leave
Uncle Steve and Aunt's Rhonda's.  I think they will
make that a favorite thing to do when they come to

Often Miranda has joined us to make her house and she
has introduced Ryan to the art of Gingerbread House
building.  They enjoy doing it together.

One dearly loved tradition George and I couldn't observe
with our family this year was Zoo lights.  Those who
went reported that they were more amazing than ever. 
We also didn't get to see the Temple lights this year.

Craig was flying home from India to Bentonville for 
Christmas.  He made a stop here for several days,  It
was nice to share some of the Christmas season with
him.  Miranda and Ryan were going to drive to
Bentonville for Christmas.  Miranda was having
severe abdominal pain and the day they were to leave,
she was admitted to the hospital with a burst appendix. 
She was septic and full of infection.  They had to
remove a part of her intestine. They were sad that
they couldn't go but if they had left and it had
happened while they were in the middle of nowhere,
the doctors say she could have died.  It has been a
long road of recovery for her but she gets better
every day.  When it happened, Craig,  Tracy, Josh,
and Chasity were planning to drive here the day
after Christmas.  Since Miranda and Ryan are in
their new house, Craig was going to pull a U-Haul
and bring Miranda's things.  They also wanted to
check up on Miranda and I.  They weren't able to
make the trip as tornados and blizzards had hit
Texas and New Mexico hard and many roads and
freeways were closed.  We were all sad but we
will see them all at our family reunion here in July.

Before Craig left India, he had given me his
flight schedule.  It made me laugh.

He said, "This is how I will be commuting to work.
It makes my head swim, but he has been doing it for
so many years, it is old hat to him.

This is his commute:
Mumbai - London - Chicago - Phoenix - Dallas -
Bentonville - Dallas - London - Mumbai 

It doesn't always include Phoenix, only if he  is
stopping to see us.  

All of this family fun and family traditions were a
wonderful way to end the year 2015 and welcome
the New Year, 2016.


Saturday, March 26, 2016


Our Christmas was different this year. It certainly didn't
follow the plan we had chosen.  December started out great.
For the last three years, I had not felt good for the holidays   
and so I hadn't done much decorating.  This year I felt good
enough to get into the mood to get out our decorations. 
On December 1st, we decorated more than we had for those
three years.  It was fun.

Then, on December 7th, I went into the hospital.  It was a
very scary time.  It all happened in the middle of the night.
This episode was different in several ways from previous 
ones.  I lost my ability to speak and thought it had not
happened to me before this time.  However my family told
me that when I had a stroke in April, I had been unable to
speak.  I don't remember anything about that.  Perhaps that
is why I was so frightened this time.

Compared to that stroke, this was considered a mini stroke.  
It was a blessing it happened.  For decades, I have been in
and out of the hospital with the doctors attempting to 
to determine if I was having a TIA, stroke, or a MS
exacerbation, symptoms for all of them are similar.  My
brain shows so much activity from years of episodes, it
is it difficult to determine what is new activity and
what is old. The margin of time of time after an episode 
to run tests is short.  They would run many tests and we
and our insurance would spend thousands of dollars and I
have usually been sent home without a diagnosis.  This time
they did a test they hadn't done before, I don't understand
why.  It  showed I have an atrial septal defect (ADS) 
which is a hole between the two upper chambers of the
heart.  When a baby is born with this condition, the hole
usually is very small and will close during infancy or
or early childhood.  In rare cases (I always knew I was
rare LOL!), an adult can have an undetected atrial septal
defect for decades.  In May, I will be eighty five and they
had never found it.  I can't believe I have been living with
this for such a long time and I find it hard to believe I
am that old.  I have been blessed.

After I was released from the hospital, I had a follow up
appointment with my cardiologist.  He had reviewed all my 
records since I had been seeing him.  Like me, he could not
believe he, and other doctors, had never detected this.  He
told me it could be fixed and when I told him of my fear and
concerns about having it fixed at my age and with other
medical problems, he said he wanted a second opinion
and I needed one, also.  He referred me to a colleague of his
who is very renowned for closing an atrial septal defect in
adults.  His name is Dr. Alfonse Ambrosia.  Rhonda went to
the appointment with me.  We both immediately liked him.
He took the time to explain everything to us. the procedure,
and the risks.  He said in the over 200 of these procedures
he has done, he has not had a patient experience any
problems other what is normal post- op.  He thinks I will
greatly benefit from having it done and should have a better
and safer quality of life.  Rhonda and I left with both of us
having trust and confidence in him and a feeling of peace
in making the decision to have it done.  George agrees.

I will have the first step done on April 1st and I feel very
good about my decision.  I will have a Transesophageal
Echo.  It will tell Dr. Ambrosia exactly where the hole is
and how large it is.  He will then know how to proceed to
 the next step.  If you read my blog, say a prayer for me.
 I will let you know when it is all done.