Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Blessings of Service

I have been serving in the Draper Temple as a volunteer housekeeper for almost 3 years.  I have been pondering if its time to be done or if I want to continue volunteering.  I enjoy it so much, but I've been having some weird issues with my back and sometimes the bending and lifting can be difficult - and cleaning in long sleeves and in a dress - I sometimes sweat my guts out - which is just lovely.  Today was no exception, but I just had the sweetest experiences.  I was just leaving the baptistry bathrooms, with the steam from the showers in there, I was pretty misty.  A cute Baptistry temple worker stopped me and asked me what my job was.  I told her all the things we do...and she said "I noticed you are sweating - and its cold in here.  I'm freezing."  I explained I just had been in the steamy bathroom and she nodded - and said - "your job sounds so appealing to me.  To have so much to do.  Sometimes we just wait for someone to walk by to direct them."  I told her that my committee is always looking for more volunteers and she said..."I don't know if they would have me, I just turned 80 - and I'm sometimes not as alert as I need to be."  I told her she was amazing to be there at all and went on my way.  I began to think about how she would rather have my job, and how she saw the value of being busy in the Temple in the very specific way that I get to be, and I began to appreciate what I get to do there in a way I hadn't before.

An hour later I was in the ordinance workers dressing room bathroom emptying the trash and another temple worker who I had passed several times throughout my cleaning, stopped to chat with me and she looked at me and noticed the sweat on my face and grabbed a tissue and came toward me.  I reached up to take the tissue and she shook her head - and said "you just stand there and breathe" - and she proceeded to wipe my face with such love and said - 'take a minute and just stand here'.  I had to fight the lump in my throat from her kindness.  I sometimes feel invisible in my life.  I live alone. I'm self employed.  I have a lot to do, and often not a lot of people around me.  I often feel like I'm just working alone, sweating life on my own.  This sweet sister saw me, she looked at me.  She appreciated my service, and just loved me for a minute, and how sweet it was!

I just felt so loved at the Temple today.  I felt known and appreciated.  I felt less worried about how much I sweat, or the strain in my back than ever before.  I felt like I had an important work to do.  I am so grateful to have such an assignment. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Most Magical Person I Know At the Most Magical Time of the Year

This is the season of Magic. There is so much Magic with Christmas. It is a time when the Spirit of giving, the Spirit of love, even the Spirit of Charity moves ever forward in the hearts of those who will let it. There is Magic in music and singing. There is Magic in the mystery of Santa Clause. There is Magic in Believing. There is Magic in Service and love. There is Magic in celebrating. There is Magic in amazing decorations. There is Magic. There is Magic.

I had the most Magical experience this weekend as I got to spend time with the most Magical Person I know. My 83 year old Granny, Renee Adams, is the definition of Magic. She is by far my favorite person on this planet. And being with her for any period of time is a gift. She is fiercely independent - and for an 83 year old woman, this is a thing to behold. She participates and maybe leads a great little group of Octagenarians plus called the 'FHE or lunch bunch'. They go to lunch and hold Family Home Evenings together. My Granny is one of the few drivers left in the group. She thinks on these women and cares for these women and worries about these women and takes so much from being a part. Just like she thinks on and worries for and cares for me, and all the rest of her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This weekend we had tickets to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert on Friday night. My Granny made reservations for us to stay at Little America (myself, my parents and she) so we would not have to try to go home so late and could arrive downtown early. She is slow to walk and needed some extra time going in and so we got to the conference center 2 hours before the event began. And while I made funny complaints, what a blessing this was. I got to watch the magic of this woman in full force. She is incredibly social and can talk to anyone. She chatted with everyone around us - learned she was a neighbor to a cousin of the couple next to us, learned the group in front of us were hungry and unsuccessful in trying to obtain food from anywhere near the conference center. She saw an old friend - who was so delighted to see her - who came over and I watched and listened to my cute Granny check in with this woman - remembering so many details about her and delighting in the opportunity to catch up. My Granny is magic.

She lives in the moment and reacts in the moment. She ooohed and ahhed at all of the amazing parts of the concert. As we walked around, she reacted audibly to beautiful decorations and feelings of love and beauty. President Monson and President Uchtdorf were in attendance that night and when they walked in and the crowd rose and quieted to silence, my cute, short Granny stood as tall as she could on her tip toes to catch a glimpse of the Prophets forehead. Those moments of silence and that feeling of love and deep respect in a crowd of that size quieting to silence in the blink of an eye is always one of my favorite moments of any event which our leaders attend. Granny felt it too as she looked at me with her eyes welling with tears and whispered, That is respect' 'such respect'.

After the concert, my Dad and I ran to get the car and drove to pick up my mother and cute Granny and we drove the few blocks to our hotel. We changed into our pjs ordered a feast from room service and had a late night amazing dinner. We talked and laughed and enjoyed together - just my Granny and I. We were up late...and were surprised to have an alarm go off at 6am. And then couldn't go back to sleep so we laid in our respective beds chatting and talking. She told me magical stories about her life. She is so real about her life. Seeing the imperfections, but recognizing so fully the Lords hand in her life and His tender mercies. She began thinking of my Grandfather who died in 1992...about the Christmas after his death when my parents flew her to Arizona to visit the warmth and how the warmth of being there with our family was such a blessing to her. I remembered it well, as I received my Patriarchal Blessing that Christmas and was so grateful she could attend. She began remembering things about my amazing Grandfather. About his imperfections, his trials and his redemption in this life. Stories I had never heard. Beautiful musings of her incredible life. She listened intently to me talk about my life concerns and worries. We talked for hours and hours....and therein is the greatest Granny magic of all. When you are with her, you feel like you are the most important person in the world to her. She gives you her full attention. She cares about what you care about. She is glad to be in your company. She greets everyone with love, she parts from everyone with love. I love to watch her greet people who come to her house - she hugs and kisses and shares a moment unique to her relationship with THAT person with each person. She usually offers an immediate compliment when she first sees you...and it is so very genuine - you don't notice or remember that is the way of her see the best of you. And that she does, she is real and can empathize and help but she sees the best in everyone. She sees potential. She has the truest charitable heart.

There is so much more to her - she is so funny...and I can not count the number of times I have laughed so hard I cried with her. She is a crazy good cook and wants to feed you...always. She is a master at the details. She is a fine and elect lady. Her home is a sanctuary. It is how every home is meant to feel. Love, love of God, peace,, love, love. It is my favorite place to visit - it a favorite place to visit for so many. She is a good neighbor, a good citizen, a good friend, an amazing mother and grandmother. She is Magic.

There are not words enough to express my great love for this woman. I can not express how proud I am to be her eldest Granddaughter or how my heart swells just walking around with her on my arm. How blessed I am. She is the most Magical person I know.

PS - Pictures: At the top: Granny and I in 1995 (love my bangs!) going to the Glenn Miller concert evening - what fun!

Middle: This weekend at little America - (not loving my double chin!)

Middle 2: Obviously, her wedding to my Grandfather. I once asked her if she would ever marry again after my Grandfather had passed away and she looked at me like I was nuts, touched her wedding ring - and said - "I'm married. He is just waiting for me somewhere else." I've never forgotten that. That is eternal love. She still wears her wedding ring.

Bottom: Chilling in Oahu, Hawaii. There are so many facets to this amazing woman - there is no way to capture them in all in words or pictures.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Who Needs Sleep?

BNL sang it. "Who needs sleep? Well you're never gonna get it" Please no. I need sleep. I need it bad.

I can't sleep. Seriously. I can't. I have developed an inability to do this simple thing and the repercussions are traumatizing.

I get sinus headaches. Twice a year, I get them A LOT - the rest of the year - just sometimes. I have glorious medicines that make them go away - but they take a minute to do their magic. At night, especially during change of seasons, my head gets fogged with ear-popping sinus ickiness - and it is difficult for me to lay my head back to sleep. I have to sit up so my head is in the 'draining' position. Which is fine for a while, then my back doesn't like it, then I fall off my tower of 'prop up' pillows, then I wake myself up, because I can't breath, then I move to a different location in my house - I go from bed to couch, to couch, to floor, to chair, to bed. I get up so many times in the night - sometimes I can't count. Sometimes I wake up at 3am and know its frivilous to try to go back to sleep, so I just get up and wander around my house. I'm sick of my house - it has become a weird prison of dark sleeplessness. TV is my only friend. It might seem better if I could use my 'awake' time for something productive - but I am a zombie from exhaustion. I hope I don't start attacking people.

I'm pretty busy at work - and the lack of decent sleep makes it hard to focus. Its hard for me to find my most productive work zone. Everything seems to take longer. I get so tired in the middle of the day - I fight it. I refuse to leave work to try to sleep - which is probably stupid - but I have a jumbled zombie mind. I do sleep okay in the daylight. Wait...maybe, I'm actually a vampire. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe thats not true - it just seems like I can sleep better in the daylight - because I only do it - when I'm flat out - can't-keep-my-eyes-open - exhausted.

I've had these sleep issues for a long time, I don't ever remember them going on so long or feeling this exhaused. I'm feeling angry and miserable quite more than I should. I am quick tempered and not nice and I'm catching myself feeling paranoid? and more lonely than normal. My coping skills are at an all time minimum - I'm having complete break downs at the most ridiculous things. I've lost all strength and independence. I have become a whiny, small child -- wandering aimlessly in my darkened house. See how dramatic that description was? Yeah...its bad. I'm whining. I'm a zombie. I'm not myself...and I haven't been for longer than a few hours in weeks. I need to sleep!

Sleep, it turns out, is necessary and good. I wish I could do it for longer than 45 minutes (okay maybe its more like 2 or 3 hour spurts - but its still too short!)

I'm going to look for a wedge pillow - that I'm hoping has magical healing and sleeping powers.

Halloween is over. Zombieness go away.

I'm really tired.

The End.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Joy of Bulbous Burgers

bul·bous adj \ˈbəl-bəs\
Definition of BULBOUS
1: having a bulb : growing from or bearing bulbs
2: resembling a bulb especially in roundness

First, let me say that I was typing too fast and spelled this word wrong over text last night and got my spelling corrected pretty quickly and succinctly. Confession: I know how to spell this word. I do. I just had never slapped it together with with my beloved burgers before.

Second, can burgers be bulbous? "Resembling a bulb - especially in roundness"? I'd say so..if you stack 'em correctly with all the right goodness.

Third, I hereby decree my love of burgers - all kinds.

I can't remember when it started - but I know it has been helped and perpetuated by my fun family. In 1992, for my birthday, my parents brought home the largest sacks from Wendy's I had ever seen and we all had my favorite fast food meal. Single with cheese, no pickle, no onion. (Really, a number 1 with cheese, with no pickle, no onion). Which in 1992 cost $3.07 for the combo (burger, fries and a soda). In 2011, it costs over $7! (I obviously don't go there much anymore) Ah, inflation.

I have always loved burgers, and if you've seen me, you know - I am both in love with them and hate them - as they are one of the primary reasons - I need and want to lose many, many pounds. They become the bane of my existence as they tempt me continuously when I'm trying to be healthy...and while I do love a good turkey burger..the meatless numbers do NOTHING for me and just make me want the real deal all the more.

There really is great joy for me in a good 'bulbous burger'. Bulbous would indicate all the right fixin's. For most of my life, I thought I hated onions...then one day a few years ago - I suddenly thought they tasted like candies and onions became a new obsession. But, I did have to work through some of the ins and outs of onions - as they are pretty overpowering and can leave lasting marks (read: stinky breath, forever long aftertaste). So, I'm a take it or leave it where onions are concerned on a burger. I am a no on the pickles. I don't hate the taste of dill pickles...ironically, I LOVE DILL (thank you cute Granny for giving me purse size dill for my birthday!). But, I don't love dill pickles either - plus I think the taste can overpower the other phenomenal burger components that can satiate. So a no on dill pickle - but a yes on sweet relish. I do love some relish - especially on a good home grilled burger...especially one grilled by my Dad or my brother-in-law. Thems good stuff.

Ketchup is a definite yes, mustard in small quantities - for same overpower ickiness as pickles and onions. Mayo - help me - yes. Cheese - yes - Cheddar or American or Swiss or Provolone or Mozarella- or even Jack - not blue, though - none of the real stinky cheeses - don't want to just taste cheese. Avocado brings goodness. Mushrooms - grilled mushrooms and onions...with a few peppers - on a burger - divine! (Grill that overkill quality right out of those onions!) Lettuce - yes. Tomato - yes - qualifier - must be a good tomato - not too squishy or unripe. A bad tomato can sap the joy right out of it.
You really can put just about anything on a burger. If you have ever seen Man vs. Food on the travel channel, you've seen the atrocities and unexpected delights. Adam Richman has eaten everything on a burger across the country. And taken many challenges to do so. In fact when the show came to Salt Lake City, he visited a Crown burger and had a ...Crown Burger. (I'm not a fan of pastrami on it a burger? Is it a sandwhich?)One - that always sounded interesting, but so gross: Donuts. Donuts on burgers...hmmm...that maybe an overpower - but maybe not. I have a weird curiosity about it. Maybe someday I'll try it.

There are a ton of websites that you can see all sorts of burger concoctions...I happen to like the burger whisperer. And the top entry on Americas Best Online in the burger section is a place called the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville, Utah. Hmmm...maybe I should take a drive to Huntsville.

My favorite burger available in Utah for a great while - has been a chain restaurant. A chain! But, Ruby Tuesdays Classic Cheeseburger - is my kind of perfection. My joy in a bulbous burger! I was so sad when the one near me closed. And the nearest one is now up the canyon, (Read: not going there anytime soon). I recently found a way to enjoy Red Robin burgers...I HATE the Red Robin seasoning - on their fries, in their fry sauce and - on the burgers. If I ask them to hold that is found! I'm a big NO on the In n Out Burgers - nothin to 'em? No Bulbous there. My parents have had a long obession with Burger King Whoppers and I do enjoy them, but not as much as so many others.

The OLD Challenges: I love a good taste test. Many, many years ago - at least a decade sister Crystal and I bought every kind of bottled water in the grocery store and had a taste test. We tasted all the water at both room temperature and determine our favorite..and of course, my favorite was the most expensive - Evian. But, I created a ranked hierarchy. A few years ago, I travelled all around the Utah valley collecting sugar cookies and had a sugar cookie challenge with my dear Aunt Susan for her birthday. Ah, Hagermans, you have the perfect cookie for me. Last Summer, NatNel and I enjoyed a summer long vanilla ice cream cone challenge and this summer have taken on Sweet Potato Fries. I love a good Taste Test Challenge.

The NEW Challenge: Best Burger within driving distance - for real. Any recommendations? Who is in for the tasting? Who is in for working out with me more - so I don't increase in stature? And I may need to have my cholesterol regularly checked. MMMmmm. The Joy of Bulbous Burgers.

PS - Title and Topic of this post NOT of my choosing - but fitting and I do love burgers! Any other suggestions?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Do you ever want a do-over? A moment, a word, a conversation, an hour, an experience, a situation? I mostly only want a do-over when I could have done it better, when I screw it up. When I want to stop thinking about how badly something played out. I like to re-live scenarios in my head - where I handle things rightly, where I don't hear or say the thing I desperately wish I hadn't. In my fantasy do-overs, no one gets offended, no one walks away wondering, everyone has closure, everyone understands, and no words leave permanent marks. I often regret seeking to be emotionally understood. For me, those conversations never go well.

Do you ever want to do a whole day over? Sometimes, I do. I don't want to get trapped in a cycle of the same things over and over again, like Groundhog day. Just a second chance.

And today was one of those days. I want a do-over.