Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue Faced Mother

This is a project I did for school last fall semester. Everyone was given a cigar box and we could do anything we wanted with it. I needle hooked a picture of my mother with part of her favorite scripture on the side: "Be still, and know that I am God." I put objects inside that would rattle around if you moved the box and then I sewed the box shut, covering the rest in fabric. The concept was that only by holding the box still were you able to not be distracted by the noise of the objects inside. This started a whole series of needle hooking.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


When Ben was only 18 months he fell into our pool and drowned. I still remember everything so vividly, permanently etched images that I can recall at any time. I looked out the kitchen window and saw Kurt holding Ben high in the air shaking his little limp body. Because Kurt was Bishop at the time we had a transient woman staying at our house and I yelled at her to call 911 while I ran outside. I gave Ben mouth to mouth (instantly recalling what I had learned in my high school health class) while Kurt gave him a blessing, drawing upon all his authority and faith to command his spirit to return to his body. Ben began coughing and spitting up water just as the EMT men burst through the house and out to the backyard. Ben was fine, probably wondering what all the fuss was. That evening all I wanted was all six children and Kurt around me. We all snuggled together on our bed and watched The Sound of Music. The scripture on this rug comes from I Kings 17:21, "And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again." The miracle that day is manifest every time I see Ben. Here is my attempt at summing it up in a psalm.
Psalm to Ben
Why hold you up and shade the sun? Lie down and let God's holy ways come together with mouth and hands. Let wind come again to your breath to whisper of God's love. How great are His commands! that He can move the waters with His mighty blast and create paths of truth. How great are His commands! that His gentle breath brings spirit home again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You Make Your Own Happiness

Well, what is happiness? To my young eyes my grandmother always seemed happy. But I always thought as a kid she didn't have much to worry about. Oh the naivety and self absorption of youth! Her husband owned a bank when the great depression hit. I have record of my mother's feelings in her diary. It was devastating even though my grandfather had enough money to cover everyone in his bank the government still made him shut the bank down. They left Richfield pretty much penniless and he was called as the mission president of the Texas-Louisiana mission. After his mission his health was in decline and they moved to Manti where they actually lived in the Manti temple while he served in the presidency. This made it easier for him to do his work from the temple and not have to go back and forth everyday. He was only in his 60's when he died. My grandmother, "Grandma Lou" moved to Salt Lake City and got a job at ZCMI. Here we would go see her. She gave me 10 Cents to go buy an ice cream cone. What a treat this was for me! She was staying at our house when my turtle died. It was raining. I was pretty sad and no one seemed too upset except me. Grandma Lou sensed this and asked me if I wanted to have a little burial in the backyard. So we went out in the rain and buried the turtle and said a little prayer. She always told me to make my own happiness, don't wait for others to that for you. I am happy. Thanks Grandma Lou!

Monday, May 28, 2007


My mother was married three times--all happy marriages she liked to say. The title of this post are her initials that are now on her car that I drive. I get lots of stares and the other day someone actually rolled down their window next to me in the car and could hardly stand it that they didn't know what my licence plate meant. When I explain, they don't quite know what to say, to be sad she had so many marriages or be happy she was proud of the fact. Anyway, I came from the middle marriage, the longest and of course the most important one for me. I was always sad not to have another sibling. My parents said they tried to have more children but no more came. Just a few months ago I was sitting in church watching two young sisters, only years apart, laughing and giggling and whispering in each others ears. I started to cry. Well, that came out of nowhere and I was surprised at my deep feelings of missing someone my age and parentage to share secrets and giggles with. I was envious of their closeness in age and genetics. I have never spent much time dwelling on this fact but it does pop out once in awhile and catches me off guard. I am blessed with sisters and brothers that I love with no thought of parentage. I miss my mother. She died last year and I wish she could be here to see her flirt with Ann's Brendon. Although I know she was a part of their union I selfishly want to see it myself. I am a visual person. I would really like to see her again and know she is happy and her legs are not swollen and her knees don't hurt and she has that perfect body she always wanted.
I worry that seeing is believing. I worry about that alot. I feel her spirit often but I am too much like Thomas. I need to repent I know but for right now my eyes yearn for a vision that might never come.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Danish Pasteries and Flowers

Here is my tribute to Mom Burch, Kurt's grandmother. I feel blessed to have known her and although our children don't really remember her I do remember Mom Burch getting them on her lap and reading to them. She lived a life I am not sure many women could live today. She was good at everything, canning, cooking, sewing, raising chickens and even sheep herding. Her danish pasteries were so yummy Kurt used to go sneak them out of the freezer and eat them cold! Kurt's love of flowers comes from spending summers with Mom Burch and watching her tend her garden and teach him his first flower lessons. When we first got married we moved in her house and payed her $50 a month to live there. It was fun because we went to work painting it and making it our own first house. That year we lived there produced the best tomatoes we have ever grown and the biggest zinnias you have ever seen. She sewed my temple apron as well as Kurt's and hers is the pattern I have used ever since in hopes that her good life will continue to influence our family.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Flee Like a Bird

The scripture flee like a bird to your mountain comes from Isaiah. Mountain in the scriptures usually always refers to the temple. I like this image and the words Isaiah uses. Flee connotes an escape from something or someone. It also gives you a sense of urgency. I see it as an escape from the world, its temptations and vain pleasures that get us not nearer to God but further away. Why was a bird used in the simile? If we are fleeing then we certainly want the most direct route. We often say as a bird flies because we know a birds fly directly from A to B.
So don't be distracted along the way. Take the most direct route. This rug is part of a series of rugs intitled "Things On My Mind."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time to Fly from the Nest

Well, it seems like yesterday that I was weaving my cocoon for number five child! She has now found the one and only and we fell in love with Brendon too! It looks like they will take flight on June 30th! This way everyone will be here for the wedding which has not happened since Jacob's homecoming over four years ago! I am so excited for both of them and it has been such fun to watch and feel it a privilege to do so. The spirit has whispered gently and boldly to them both. So, we have a month to dry off the wings and get them on their way! Congratulations Ann and Brendon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What is the wish of your heart?

For my second rug I decided to visually relate an incident I shared with my father one day in his study. It was appropriate we were in that room. He spent so many hours reading and pouring over the scriptures. I rarely saw him watch tv. He was reading about Alma wishing he could speak with the trump of god and convert the earth to Christ. What a noble wish. But he cut his enthusiasm short when he claimed this wish as a sin and to be content with the gifts all ready given him. Oh to have sins like those! This rug really represents my constant struggle to do the Lord's will, not mine. She is crossing herself which comes from the Book of Mormon, meaning to strickly kept promises made to the Lord. I think the temple must be the greatest reminder of the path Alma is talking about. Why do we desire more than the work we have all ready been called to--like being a Sunday School teacher to 15-16 year olds? Or being a visiting teaching and home teacher? So, be carefull what your hearts wishes are, the Lord just might give them to you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I just returned from wrestling with three grandchildren. Seth, Lucy and Hazel have again won my heart! I find it so gratifying to watch another generation repeating the process of nurturing and guiding children down the path to happiness. It is a holy work that is ultimately just composed of the gift of sacrifice and giving. We learn to give until we think we don't have enough to give anymore and we wake up and do it again. It was a good reminder of the process since that journey really never ends. So thanks to Seth, Lucy and Hazel for reminding me why I only wanted to be a mother! I had no idea this would lead to such fun as a grandmother. Lucy, I'm theriouth.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

First Act: Which came first, the artist or the mother?

I'm horribly honored to "guest" here on the debut of the blog of the terribly terrific RCK.
Two of her roles come from the same act: creation. She is an artist. She is a mother. Here you will find her proverbial playbill. Flip through. Clap. Forgive this post and know that what you are about to experience on this stage will touch the very fiber of your being.
(This has been myangle)