Saturday, May 24, 2014

Beautiful Japan as I photographed in 1967-68

  Kinkakuji--The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan

This is my favorite photo that I took in Japan. Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan and the outside walls of this building really are covered with gold.

At the time of the tsunami near Sendai, Japan, we were inundated with disastrous images of Japan, so I thought it would be nice to show you what Sendai looked like before this disaster.
In the summer of 1968, my companion and I actually ran in between these beautiful fields as we went to visit an orphanage on the outskirts of Sendai. I keep praying that those children survived the tsunami last Friday.
I took this photo from the train as I approached Sendai when I was transferred there. It was fields like these or perhaps these very fields that we all saw flooded by the tsunami on March 11. Pain hits my heart every time I see the video of the flood waters washing away these tidy farms and homes with people inside.

    Looking down the street from my first apartment when I lived in Japan.

Inside the gate to my apartment in Sendai, Japan

Inside the tatami room of my first apartment. This room is covered with woven straw mats called tatamis. It functions as a living room by day and a bedroom by night. Below is a man making the tatami mats. Look at his muscles.

A tall 5 tier Pagoda at Ikegami Park in south Tokyo at cherry blossom time      

The Buddist shrine that is inside of the tall pagoda which is pictured above

 People eating under the cherry blossoms at Ikegami Park in Tokyo 

The backyard garden of a home next to the Tokyo South Branch Chapel. It looked like theGarden of Eden, but I didn't have the right light to have you really see it in the photo.

        A stone lantern at a shrine in Kyoto, Japan

 An old home at the entrance of Ikegami Park in south Tokyo. 
              A modern mansion in Yokohama, Japan in 1967
 Below is the Guard house at one corner of the Emperor's palace in Tokyo. Notice the moat that encircles the entire palace grounds.

                 One of the many ornate buildings at Nikko, Japan

 Everything is to beautifully ornate at Nikko, I felt like I was in fairyland. They say that Nikko even makes the Gods smile. Below is the entrance gate to Nikko.
I wrote this post several years ago, and forgot to post it. I have so many things that I want to record, I think I will start blogging again. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How Did Cosmo Do It?

When I came home from Church 2 weeks ago, my dog Cosmo did not meet me at the door. Since I have a dog door, he generally comes running into the house to let me know in his loudest voice that it is time to feed him. Five minutes went by and he still didn't come in, so I opened the door and called him. When he finally graced me with his presence, he was limping. I thought I had better go out and see what dangerous thing in the yard had injured him. Cosmo limped past me to the spot in the yard that had kept him so busy:
He had somehow managed to get this large container of dog food out of his dog door.
This is actually the most benign thing that Cosmo has tried to eat. On several separate occasions (generally while I am at Church,) he has lived through stealing and eating the following:
15 sticks of gum and 9 pieces of Double Bubble Gum, all in 1 hour's time or less.
5 blocks of Tom Cat Mouse poison and a small bag of butter mints
64 Lactaid Pills at one time
1 box of Wheat Thins
1 loaf of bread
When I had forgotten that I had a cookie in my pocket one day, I found my coat halfway out of his dog door. He was going through my pockets searching for anything edible.
He has stolen my purse and taken it outside so he can look for mints or gum.
Of course, he always takes his stolen prizes outside to eat them because he KNOWS that he is doing something wrong, but he is so addicted to food.
You must think I am an irresponsible dog owner, but the truth is that he is way too smart.
He has figured out how to push chairs out from under the table so he can climb up on things. I had the mouse poison up high on a shelf; I still don't know how he got it.
He is really a character, but I love him dearly.
I'm so grateful he has had more lives than a cat, but now he is testing fate.

It seems that it was a hard enough task for him to get that big jar outside, but what really puzzles me is how he unscrewed that big lid off of it. Notice that he is limping and holding his right front paw up in the air.

Now Ducks Are Dining in My Yard!

(To view video, click on the arrow on bottom left under the photo)
When I was leaving the temple on Tuesday, I saw a pair of ducks sitting in the grass in the front of the temple near where I had parked.
I told them they were pretty birds. They ate it up. Then after I got home, I was amazed to see 2 ducks eating under the Catalpa tree by the shed.
Ever since I was little, stray kittens and dogs always followed me home.
Now birds are doing it.
Birds are getting smarter every year.

Thinking of Randy today

Every day, a 1000 times a day, I miss you. People said it would get easier as time passes BUT THEY ARE WRONG. Each day that passes is just one more day that I have without you, so that makes it harder, not easier. It was exactly 3 years ago today when I last held your hand and told you that I love you. I yearn to hear your voice and see that gorgeous smile of yours again. I want to have you make me laugh again. How could I have ever been so lucky as to have you want me for your wife?

Before we met, I had insulated myself
I felt safe
No one could hurt me any more.
I said I didn't need anybody.

Then you came into my life.
You came and broke down my walls
You kissed my soul with love
We were one.

Now my walls are gone
And so are you. . . .

I feel so lost.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My 5 handsome grandsons from Arizona

Chase is age 17 and in 11th grade. He sings in one of his high school choirs.

In the past, he has played football, but soccer has been his favorite sport ever since he was very young and started playing it. He also likes running.

He is an excellent student and is very good at playing the piano.

Below is one of my favorite memories of him.

When Chase was 2 or 3 & Jerel was assembling their new table, Chase quickly ran into his bedroom & got his toy tools. Then he started helping his dad fix the table.

Jordan and Ryder in 2010 (Left)
Jordan (Right) is age 15 and in 10th grade in high school, where he sings in the men's chorus, is an excellent student, loves to read, is very good at playing the piano, and wants to play football next year.

Tanner ( above left) will be 13 this April and is in the 7th grade. He loves playing baseball, is an excellent student, is on the student council, and is very good at playing the piano. He also participated in his city's track meet.

Trevor (above right) is age 9, in 3rd grade, and is a great student. He plays basketball, soccer, and computer games. He's very good at playing the piano and makes up his own songs, too.

Here Chase is helping Trevor to learn how to tie his new Scottish tartan tie. I gave all the boys tartan ties (made out of a unique plaid material that represents their last name) for Christmas. Tanner also wanted a McKinnon tartan tie since my grandfather, Tanner's great great grandfather, Archibald William McKinnon, was 100% Scottish, too.

Here is Ryder. He turned 1 in December.
I love his smile. Camille has to get her running shoes on because he has now been walking for 5 days.

These are all of Camille and Jerel's boys. I just can't believe how handsome they all are, and I love all of them so much. I wished they lived closer to me.

Monday, February 28, 2011

2 Valentine's Day Candy Houses in 2 Days

When I flew to Boise in November, I took 2 suitcases--one with clothes and the other was full of candy, cookies, and cereal. After we ate a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Nickie's, I thought the grandkids would have fun watching me make a Candy/Cookie house, so Nickie and I made 2. One for her children and one for my dear friends, Dan and Diane Edwards. Two weeks later I flew down to Mesa, Arizona, taking 2 more suitcases and made another Candy/Cookie house for my 5 grandsons down there. I wanted to make 2 more at Christmas time for my 4 grandchildren who live in the Salt Lake area, but I was so busy with my Christmas project for my sister Charlene, that I didn't get the other 2 houses made. Therefore, I decided to make them for Valentine's Day. This being a little unorthodox, I decided to call them Hansel & Gretel houses, so I bought 2 Hansel and Gretel books, made Scandavian Heartbaskets and filled them with candy, thus receiving the Candy house for Valentine's Day would make sense.
Here's the cute book I bought
and the heartbaskets that I made for Karli and Sage.
They were both such good readers
they both could read the book to me.
Sage and Karli with the first house on February 13.
Avery and Nash with their Valentine House.

Nash with his heartbasket--
notice it is without the candy since he already ate it.

A Christmas Miracle: Charlene's CD Album

Last June of 2010, I started worrying about how my sister Charlene's music needed to be recorded and how her children and grandchildren had never heard most of her music and had no idea of how prolific a composer she has been. My goal was to record all of her compositions onto CDs and give them to all of her children for Christmas. It was a daunting but enjoyable task. By December, we had recorded over 360 tracks of music which included 174 song titles plus minus tracks. The finished album of 10 CDs took over 7 months to complete and took up over 9 gigs of memory on the recording studio computer!
Below is a photo of Charlene recording her music at Full Fidelity,
the recording studio of Steve Phillips. He is seated behind Charlene.
Steve is so good at what he does and is so easy to work with; we would have
never been done by Christmas if we had gone to any other recording studio.
We spent so much time together,
I feel like Steve is a member of our family.
As a child, I remember hearing her at the piano composing into the wee hours of the morning. She wrote her first 2 compositions when she was only 14 years old. I have always wanted the world to know her music. She could have written music that could have been performed on Broadway. She could have performed on Broadway. She certainly had the voice and acting ability, plus beauty. The top photo of the album cover shows her performing when she was Miss Carbon County.
Below is a picture of Charlene when she was a runner up
for Miss Utah National Guard.

In 1977 she won 1st Prize in the Churchwide Relief Society song writing contest with "A Women's Prayer." It was sung when they dedicated all of the Relief Society Monuments in Nauvoo June 28, 1978, as well as also being sung in the Tabernacle when they held the 1st Women's Conference in the Fall of 1978. To the left is the front cover of when the Church published "A Women's Prayer" and also a photo of the statue that inspired the song Charlene wrote.
* * * *
I am so proud of Charlene. She is one of the truly Celestial people that walks on this earth today.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dearest Camille--Happy Birthday

I brought you home from the hospital
when you were only 2 days old.
Since we didn't have ultrasound in those days,
I took a yellow outfit to the hospital because I didn't know
if you were a boy or a girl until you were born.

Here you are in your first bed.
I slept in this bassinet, too, when I was first born.
You have always loved to talk on the phone.

You are very intelligent and
you have always loved to read.

You are very musical.
You have a great singing voice.

You have always loved to play games.
Even when we went to Disneyland together,
you brought your Scrabble game,
so we could play it in the hotel room.

Below is a photo of when we had a perfect game
because we had used every tile on the board.
You have always loved babies.
You have always loved to dress up.
I made this witch costume for you when you were 8 years old.
Even when you were 3 years old, you always loved to dress fashionably.
One night when you were 10, you put on my slips
and pretended they were fancy dresses--
accessorizing them
my scarves, ribbons, shoes, & gloves.
What a creative child you were!

What a classy gal you were at age 18!

. . . . and a beautiful bride.
Camille, you will always be my beautiful, precious daughter.
Have a wonderful day.
May God shower His blessings upon you.
I will love you forever.