Monday, October 20, 2014

Blogging Prayer Answered

I had not blogged for about a year, but when I tried in 2013, I could not get in.  I tried everything. Finally I googled "problems with Blogspot".  Many comments popped up with the same problem I was having.  Many were mad and ready to "sue".  Several bloggers said they had lost guy had a blog for over six years. Many times I tried to sign in but I could only access my old public posts. Several reviews indicated that Blogspot had been bought by Google and with it came a big can of worms they were working through.  I guess I was one of the worms.  I was heartsick because I had used my blog as a journal for most things and I was afraid it was all lost.  Today I tried again, it let me reset everything, AND IT WAS ALL THERE.  I learned a valuable lesson from this.  Do not trust cyberspace.  Print hard copy and save electronically somewhere else. Now I will attempt blog catch up copy and pasting journal entries from else where.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Literally

Our son Brandon was in a head-on collision the Friday before Thanksgiving at about 4:30 p.m.  The man who hit him was traveling north on the freeway when he crossed the median and hit Brandon's truck that was traveling south.  Brandon never saw him coming.  There were no brake marks at the scene.  It was estimated the impact was a minimum of 140 mph.  The man from Illinois died, but because Brandon was in a heavier 3/4 ton truck, he was injured, but lived.  He was cut deeply on left side of forward down into his eye bridge, his leg took much of the impact, his nose was broken.  There are future surgeries ahead, but he is ALIVE and we are full of thanksgiving. The Eye, Ear, & Nose doc said it was a miracle he did not lose his eye or sever the nerve that goes from ears to sinus.  The first responders said it was the worst wreck they have responded to and had some one actually live.  Brandon's good friend, who is an EMT, was one of the first on scene and helped him, but did not recognize that it was him.  He is recouping at our home and each day he improves remarkably.

This was our "here" year, the Thanksgiving when all come to our house instead of going to their in-laws.  I thought I was coping amazingly well with the trauma of the accident until the day before Thanksgiving told the real story.  I was preparing the batter for the pumpkin pies.  I tasted it before pouring in the shells.  Yuck, was something ever missing.  I added more spice, no diff, but just figured my taster was off.  I was just getting ready to fill the shells, when I realized I had not put in the pumpkin!  We brine our turkey moist and yummy.  We had been brining it for about 12 hours when I realized I had doubled the salt ratio!  At the dinner, I kept repeating "don't salt the turkey...remember don't salt the turkey".  After dinner, I felt two hands on the back of my shoulders.  It was Walt.  He turned me around and told me to go the bedroom to rest, he was going to help clean the kitchen.  We had several Thanksgiving firsts; almost pumpkinless pumpkin pie, double brine turkey, Walt helping clean up after Thanksgiving, and Brandon  with a swollen face, bandaged elbow, hand, and leg.  But we were all full of thanks for sparing our son and bringing us all together to count our blessings.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Repentant Blogger
I was feeling really bad about ignoring my blog since LAST summer. As a matter of fact, my last post was about Granny Boy Camp, and I just finished another one a few weeks ago.   I am using this blog for my journal (mostly, I keep more sacred experiences in another journal), so I know posting is important.  I would have loved to have a blog when I was raising my have special photos, journal entries, and then publish it...what a dream.  Well, my family is raised and I still have a busy life that can be documented.  There is no excuse.  I checked out most everyone's blog I follow closely and I realized many are not posting often either.  Has Facebook changed the importance of blogging?  I hope not.

A few months ago, Walt was released from Bishopric after five years.  I realized that with his release has come a freedom. First of June managed four days at our mountain get away.  Last of June we went on  nine day anniversary get away to Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.   May we had a trip to Las Vegas to tour dam at Lake Mead, April off to to Moab Utah for four days where I had a victim advocate conference for one day, and we played the other days.  Walt and I went to my nephew Brent Arnold's wedding in the Twin Falls Temple last week. The Boise temple is closed. We then toured Shoshone Falls and Thousand Springs area, with my brother Steve, as we worked our way back to Boise for a later reception. We brought Ginny, Tim’s wife, back with us.  Some trips have been interspersed with a visit to Cody and Jessi's house in Spanish Fork near Provo.   Walt and I have also been on mountain five weekends in a row.  I ran into a neighbor from our ward today at Costco. She asked if I had been gone all summer.  The trips  have been nice, but I am staying home this weekend.  Our mountain place will be taken over by my Cluff Clan hunters. I usually cook,  just put ear plugs in, then go to my bedroom to read, but I don’t even want to do that much. I am staying home and unpacking my suitcase that has been on the floor of our closet all summer. I still work part-time as a Victim Advocate for the police department, but have been able to work my time easily around this looser schedule.  Walt and I have always enjoyed traveling together.  He has to be in control of the steering wheel as I am content to relax and look out the window.  We have listened to some audio books and great music on Pandora radio.  I just tether my phone to the speakers on our advertisements...just coasting along on the road to somewhere.  Sweet sweet freedom we have never experienced until these last few months. I want to post pictures, but I am going to post this without for now.  I made a goal of writing a post by 5:30 and I want to accomplish at least one goal today.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Granny Grandson Camp

Back row Justin Cannon, Jade Cluff, Granny, Logan Cluff
Front row Jaxon Bradshaw, Morgan Irvine, Bradley Irvine
Yes, you read it right.  I take my boys camping every summer.  My younger ones, Colby (5), Cove (1 ½), and baby River were not invited for safety reasons and Granny's sanity.   This year was a lot of fun because the weather was perfect.  Last year we battled rain almost the whole weekend.  The tradition has always been campfire stories by Granny and then lots of war with air guns.  We have made a four- wheel trail where the wars are played out.  This year, however, Jade and Justin the oldest two, decided they were too old and cool for such juvenile games.  After holding out for an hour or two, soon they had to get in on it.  Then it was the two oldest against everyone else.  Everyone had a fun time including me.  I bedded them down in the front of our RV.  We have two good mattresses and lots of foam pads.  I had them draw straws on who got to choose first.  We did smores, but they were ready to hit the bedrolls right after, so my campfire stories were shared while they were in bed and ready for lights out.  I absolutely love my grand boys…I guess I better start saying young men.  All who attended have the priesthood except Jaxon who is ten.  Jade and Justin are DRIVING!

I am including pictures from an Arizona hunt Grandpa took some of the older boys on.  Grandpa has a soft spot for hunting requests from his grand boys.  I told him I think to his grandsons the word Grandpa means “Man with checkbook and drivers license.”

An event at Sportsman Warehouse had some drawings for prizes.  Justin asked his grandpa if he put gramp’s name in and he won, if Justin could have the binoculars.
Grandpa had a work project going on during Granny Camp.  Trimming  trees.

Walt got a call that he won and true to his gramp’s word, Justin got the binoculars.  Sportsman took a picture of Walt with them and it turned out to be a great picture.  The boys were trying to figure out what was so great about it and then it dawned on them.  He did not have a plaid cowboy shirt on…he had a stripped tee!  Wow, and to think that fact was documented with a picture!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Granny Grand-Girl Camp & Paying it Forward Experience

Josie Cluff, Lesley Cannon, Taiha Bradshaw, Granny,Victoria Cannon

This summer I held Granny-grand-girl camp.  My oldest granddaughters, Tori, Lesley, Taiha, and Josie,  usually opt for a sleepover at my house instead of the “camp” experience.  This year I did not give them a choice.  I told them we were going to the mountain, sleeping at our camp for two nights, and then spending a day in Panquitch, a little mountain town just 25 miles from our camp. The first night we played a rumor game around the campfire.  After smores, I led them out to the clearing where I had set up a big tarp.  I asked them to take a pillow and blanket, and after putting heads together in the middle, we looked at the stars while I shared some spiritual experiences of my youth.  After drawing straws for the bed spots, most of them giggled for hours after I put in my earplugs. The next day it was up for breakfast and off to Panquich’s Quilt Walk Days. I asked them to save their money for some girly purchase.  They worked hard and each came prepared with a little cash.  I asked them to just browse through the shops for a few hours and then we would return to stores for final purchase, as I did not want to carry bags around all afternoon.  The first store we went to was where Taiha realized she had lost her $20 out of her pants pocket.  She was so sad because she had worked hard for her money.  When we returned later in the day, the storeowner asked where the girl was that had lost her money.  My girls explained that she had not found it so she had not returned to buy earrings like they had.  After the girls had made their selection of pretty silver earrings with different colored stones, the owner told them to go choose a pair that they thought Taiha would like.  She put them in a bag to give to her asking for the following story to be told.  When the storeowner was a little girl, she had worked hard to earn $5 for a fair and carnival coming to her town.  Excitedly she arrived only to find on her first purchase that she had lost the $5 out of her pocket.  She burst into tears and a man asked why she was crying.  She explained she had worked hard for her money and had lost it.  He gave her $5 telling her, “One day you will meet a girl who will have lost her money and that is when you can pay me back”. The other day I saw the silver feather green stone earrings dangling from Taiha’s ear.  I was quickly reminded of the sweet experience of my grand girls and the kindly shop owner, and I pray they will always remember this simple example of paying it forward.  We had a great time together on Cedar Mountain at our camp.  They were such a joy and we plan to repeat it next year.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Old Prompting Leads to New Prompting?

I made a quick trip to Idaho for my niece Mindy's reception.  I was invited to Rilz and Mindy's wedding in Hawaii and intended to go.  In fact, I was really excited.  I have never been to Hawaii, so with flyer miles, Robin's connection for housing, and planning on fun sharing a room with Nan Arnold, I was out of here.  I kept finding a reason to postpone making the reservations, but with it down to the last day to get tickets cheap, I started the process.  I still could not bring myself to go ahead.  The next morning, now the last possible day to use my flyer miles, I woke up with a memory of years ago when I had a prompting not to leave Rexburg for the trip home with my babies.  Vividly the memory rushed back of me leaving a day early to attend the temple wedding of my friend Ann in SLC on the way home.  I had arranged baby sitters and Ann was counting on me.  However, that morning  I had awakened with an over whelming feeling to not go.  Rationalizing that my car had been serviced the day before, my babies were well, and not wanting to let anyone down, I did not obey the prompting.  When I was about two hours from Rexburg, MY CAR MOTOR BEGAN TO BILLOW SMOKE.  The service guy, who did my car the day before, had not put the oil plug back in after filling my oil!  I ended up being stranded on the side of the road for hours with my little ones.  Dad helped me limp back to Rexburg.  If I had obeyed the prompting, I would have known about it while I was using my car in Rexburg and an early discovery would have saved our car which was never the same after that.    I learned a valuable lesson....listen and obey, even when it does not seem logical.  Now fast forward about 35 years, and I am laying in bed with a light slowing coming on in my fuzzy brain.....have I been being prompted to not make the reservations?  Is the Spirit using my old experience to remind me to listen and recognize a prompting?  Next thought....perhaps I should pray about this.  Next thought....yes you should.   After prayer.... I am NOT supposed to go to Hawaii.  Next thought...oh no, I have people counting on me.  Next thought....what terrible thing is going to happen if I go?  I called Robin and Nan.  Nan understood and luckily I got Robin's voice mail.  I knew she would be very mad, and she was cooled off by the time she talked to me a few days later.  "Why aren't you going?"  Don't know, just a feeling was my reply.  The Monday I was supposed to leave for my week in Hawaii, I felt like I was waiting for a phone call to emergency for a loved one or a catastrophe of some kind.  Tuesday I had a little muscle problem in my upper leg, but I am still waiting for the emergency phone call.  Wednesday I am now trying to not limp, but still waiting for the emergency phone call.  Thursday I realize I am the emergency, I now can hardly move my leg and have chills and fever.  Friday morning the pain in my leg was gone and I am feeling a little better, so I go to the mountain with Walt who wants to go on a long four-wheel ride.  Forget those plans because Friday night (on mountain) the muscle in my other leg begins to pain and now I repeat chills and fever until Monday, the day I would have been coming home from Hawaii!  Who knew I had such a weird virus waiting to take me down...Heavenly Father that's Who.  I would have been a total pain in Hawaii, people worrying about me, and probably wishing I was in my bed at home, not to mention me trying to walk all over with a gimpy leg.  Hawaii will still be there waiting for me someday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Attitude, New Neighbor, New Job

A New Attitude,  A New Neighbor,  A New Job

I have wanted to post many times, but just couldn’t get the brain power to do it. I couldn’t even get the brain power to read other people’s blogs.  I finally gave myself a surprise diagnosis.  I have been battling depression since Spring.  As I have never really known depression, I guess I had a hard time identifying it.  Several years ago my daughter who was battling depression for a time told me,  after I tried to say something encouraging, “What do you know?  You are one of the most disgustingly happy people I know.”  At the time I had a good laugh over that one.  It is not natural for me to be sad, grumpy, out-of-sorts, so I guess that is why it took a while to identify.   Also, I do not rave on about my problems nor go on and on about poor me.   I can genuinely listen with empathy to other’s problems, but I usually personally opt out of the personal pity-pot  parade.  Once I did identify depression, I started an attack plan of eating better, faithfully exercising,  increasing vitamin Bs, and increasing magnesium.  I think the exercise helps most of all.  I feel like a different woman when I come home from the rec center.  I also started a new hobby of crocheting around fleece I make into a blanket.  It is mindless repetition and relaxes me.  Maybe that is why most of the old ladies I ever knew took up crochet in their old age.  I thought they were bored, so who knew it was therapy!  So here's to my new attitude or a renewal of my usual attitude.   I know life is what we make it, happiness is found when we look for it, and  joy is always found in the moment if we allow ourselves to feel it.   I love the saying:  I AM TOO ANNOINTED TO BE DISAPPOINTED AND TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED—Billy Chrystal’s wife has this hanging over her kitchen sink.

My new neighbor is going to be the Curtis and Katy Lee family, our daughter’s family. They are buying a lot from us and Brandon is building the house.  It is going to be a wonderful spacious home.  They will be between our house and Cori’s house on the other block.  Ivy and I were walking to Cori’s past their new house and she said, “My room is so cute.  Do you want to see it?”  Her room did not even have the sheetrock done yet.  Her little mind already had it perfectly decorated, I found out, as she told me about the rugs, bed, and pictures on her walls.

My new part-time job is Victim Advocate for Washington City Police Department.  I was formerly my daughter Cori’s volunteer when she had the position.  She did a remarkable job and now serves as my volunteer.   It is one of the best jobs I have ever had….lowest pay…..but best job.  It entails working with victims of crime who lack resources or knowledge of the criminal justice system.  Mostly, I help women of domestic violence place protective orders, stalking injunctions, or act as an liaison in court proceedings involving the perpetrator.  I can link victims to safe houses, legal protection, or even therapy particularly if children are involved.   I have a Bachelor Degree in Criminology/Law Enforcement from BYU and years ago I started out in part-time Juvenile Delinquency work.  Now I have gone full circle and am comfortably  back in the criminal system again.  So here I am at the age of sixty-four starting a new job.  It seems like God is not through with me yet as far as my contribution in the temporal scheme of things.  I will keep on keeping on, but the fact is I would rather wear out than rust out anyway.