Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Little Patience while I Murmur for Five Minutes. Thank you.

**So, I'm taking a religion class, Book of Mormon.  This post is part of my assignment which is to discuss related gospel topics.  There is a section in this particular lesson entitled Digging Deeper that I would like to focus this assignment on.  I want to discuss the topic of Murmuring.

Elder Neil A. Maxwell gave an address entitled Murmur Not.  He spoke that 'murmuring is defined as a half suppressed resentment or muttered complaint."  I recall when I was on my mission, my companion would always preface any negative statement, by saying "I'm going to murmur for five minutes," or "I'm going to be Laman and Lemual for a while."  She was never petty or spiteful, she had just found a scriptural turn of phrase that made it convenient for either her or I to speak without any accountability -- or so we thought.  Now, years later, I had never given our actions any thought until now.  Having listened to Elder Maxwell say, "our intentions are at least as important as our deeds" showed that there really is no such thing as slightly murmuring, even if it's only for five minutes.  And choosing to pattern ourselves after Laman and Lemuel, really showed poor judgment on our part.

In 1 Nephi 2:11, Lehi spoke of the "stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father . . . "  Perhaps they, too started with a five minute limit of murmuring, and perhaps it started off with what the brothers may have considered minor.  But Nephi recognized that "they (Laman and Lemuel) did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them (1 Nephi 2:12)."  How the Lord must have shaken his head and said, "What?! No, seriously, what?!"  Elder Holland, really hit the nail on the head when he quoted out of Ephesians 4:30-32:  "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God . . . " because surely we as mortals, must truly try the patience of the Lord and the Spirit.

I had a co-worker who was from the south, and she would always use the phrase, "bless your heart."  My co-worker said, you can cover up any type of negative or off the cuff comment, so long as you follow up the comment with "bless her heart."  Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave a talk entitled The Tongue of Angels.  He said that "the opposite or pessimistic spirit drags [you] down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield to obedience."

Towards the end of my mission, I had a different companion who had made me aware that perhaps the reason people murmur about others is because they find something lacking within themselves.  So we pondered on how we could better our attitudes and be more centered in Christ.  We came upon a passage in James 5:37 which reads: "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."  We truly struggled to stay within the parameters of saying "yea" or "nay."  It is so tempting to fill the gaps of our speech with other words that neither uplift of edify.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

After dragging my feet for more than a month and half, I have actively joined a writer's group.  I know?!  I can hardly believe it myself.  My initial trepidation was the thought of actually having strangers read my work and then have them share their thoughts on it.  That's always been the most difficult thing about writing -- giving it over to someone else.  **shudders**

But thanks to the persistence of a few awesome people, I went to my first writer's group today.  Gotta say, it was kinda cool.  I was a little nervous but quickly got over it.  As I sat and listened I became comfortable enough to share some thoughts of my own, we did a group reading of someone's script.  That was very cool.

What I took away from the group session was that I seriously need to rework my piece, first of all, but feel comfortable to want to share my writings with others.  That seems a little strange seeing as how I have a blog and it's open for others to view.  Be that as it may, I am excited and eager to start working on my writing again.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Anchorage, AK

So, Alaska.  It's almost nothing what you thought it would be and everything you hoped it wouldn't.  For example, I knew it would be cold.  But in relation to having lived in Hawaii, Utah and California nothing really prepares you for waking up to temperatures in the single digits.  Or 4 months of daylight and 8 months of darkness.  It can all be very confusing between how late the sun stays up and how long the nights last.  I recommend a very good time piece and some really dark curtains; otherwise you'll be too late for anything or very early to everything.  And then there are those days when you walk out the door, breathe in that brisk Alaska air, and as you look out at the world in front of you, something about it makes you say out loud "Ahh, shit!!"  Because it's the realization that the world has frozen over, and the distance to your car is somewhere between "falling on your ass," or "face plantin' it."  Neither of which I would recommend, because there is really no graceful way to recover from something like that.  Trust me -- I know of what I speak.

And then there's the nature element.  Specifically moose, of which, they usually travel in pairs.  So safety tip: if you ever see a moose, be careful because the second one is somewhere nearby.  There are laws in Alaska that explicitly state, "do no harm -- to the moose." I'm paraphrasing of course.  I have no idea what the laws are in regards to moose (I don't even know the plural form of moose).  But I do know that if you are driving on the road, you must yield and stop to allow a moose to cross  . . . and trust me they are usually in no hurry.  One might think that they are aware of their status in Alaska.  You cannot honk at a moose.  You must never, ever approach a moose.  But, apparently it seems okay to pull over to then side and take pictures with your camera phone.  While they may seem cute and cuddly, they are very, very large animals.  I'm gonna go out a limb as say that they,re bigger than a horse -- although I have no reliable data to prove that statement.  Just fyi, "coo" and "aww" from a distance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tell Tale Sign . . .

I had a doctor's appointment today.  The good news is that my blood pressures down . . . the bad news is that I have high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.  The only thing I went to see the doctor about was a nagging pain that had developed on my thumb.  My thumb!  And from that visit, I had to get a pneumonia vaccination, pills for diabetes, high blood pressure & cholesterol.  I now also need to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist to have my eyes checked and do follow up lab work to make sure that the diabetes medication isn't doing much damage to my pancreas . . . or was it my liver?  OY!!

At what point did my body start to fall apart? My doctor gave me the best diagnosis ever -- LOSE WEIGHT!  How would that have escaped my attention?  He must think I have no mirrors at home.  But in all fairness, he's a great doctor and what he had to say was more than just words, and let me tell you he did not mince the words he used.
So, I gotta cut the carbs and a whole bunch of other stuff that's on the pamphlets I got.  Next step is to do some research on type 2 diabetes and get started on that walking routine I kept planning on; now's the time for it.

Wish me luck!

P.S. -- as for my thumb, got a brace for it; tiny fracture.  It only hurts when I try to grab a door knob to open, twist open a cap or pill bottles, sweep with a broom (very hard to do with the left hand), squeeze a sponge; basically any function that requires my use of the thumb to complete a function causes me killer pain!

Do you know the expression "feeling your age?"  Well, I must be feeling somebody's age and let me tell you -- that it totally sucks!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just Drive TheBus!

I don't have a car, so I catch the bus to work everyday.  That's Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m.  And depending on traffic it could take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to get to work.  Unfortunately, I happen to be something of a night owl and getting to bed early doesn't always work for me.  (Those who know me well, will attest to the fact that mornings are not my thing!  Nope, just can't do it!)  Also, those who know me well, will also attest to the fact that aside from being peevish about mornings, I absolutely, positively enjoy sleeping! Loovveee it!! 

I have no qualms about catching the bus.  I mean, I don't have to worry about fighting traffic cause someone else is driving, it's always air conditioned (oftentimes near frigid temperatures), I can always get a seat, and the best reason . . . in the quiet hours of the morning I can put on my earphones, select my playlist, close my eyes and catch up on some sleep.

There's a lot of effort that goes into being a passenger of public transportation.  We have our routines that we follow. Like, seats we absolutely have to sit in; (the longs seats that face each other or the two passenger seat), do we sit in the front, middle, or back of the bus?  Do we sit near the air or some place warmer?  Do we sit where it's quiet or where all the action is taking place?  These are all valid questions.  And if you, like me, are a frequent bus traveler (no mileage program currently available) those questions have already been answered.  And no matter how hectic your day may be, riding the bus remains a constant.

And yet, even the most constant routine can have a monkey wrench thrown into the works.  Case in point, when your regular bus driver has rotated out of his route and now you have a new driver.  But for the most part, not much changes unless . . .

Unless . . . as it happens, on that particular morning, I struggled to get out of bed, and had to race out the door to catch my bus on time.  Slightly out of breath, with beads of perspiration slowly rolling down the sides of my face, I stand at the crosswalk for what seems like ages until the light finally changes just as the bus pulls up to the bus stop.  With bus pass in hand, I drag myself up the steps and briefly acknowledge the new driver on my beloved 93 Express.  My favorite seats (long seats at the front of the bus) are all taken so I grab the first open seat next to a lady who's bundled up like Nanook of the North and curled up by the window in deep hibernation.  I settle in with earphones in place, playlist qued and eagerly look forward to the moment I can close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

From the motion of the bus, I can tell that the new driver is moving that bus along and soon we hit the Zipper Lane and zoom along nicely.  Fifteen to twenty minutes into the ride, as I am dozing in and out of sleep, I become aware of a conversation going on between one of the passengers up front (on the long seats) and the driver.  I try to push it from my mind because I tell myself that "he's (bus driver) done a good job so far." 

At one point along our journey, there's a slight rumble under the tires of the bus.  It's only been about thirty minutes (that's a quick ride!) The rumble is a tell-tale sign that the bus is moving out of the Zipper lane and merging onto the freeway near the airport.  Since we didn't hit a lot of traffic, I realize my nap time has been slightly diminished and so I close my eyes to get in whatever bit of dozing I can get.  It's about this time, that the conversation of the passenger and the driver that I overheard earlier has now become animated, loud, and intrusive (on my sleep time).  As we quickly pass the airport, and make the turn towards the tunnel to merge from the H2 freeway onto the H1 freeway, an irritating noise fills the airway.  It's the sound of the driver's intercom.

With eyes still close, I feel a scowl begin to form above the brows on my forehead. 
**My internal voice:
"Really? We're getting a public address now?!"

 **The actual words of the driver over the intercom:
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen! If I can direct your attention out the right side window of the bus, that wonderful smell you're getting is from Love's Bakery!Mmmm...all we need now is some hot coffee, some cream, sugar and we're good to go -- alright!!!"

**Internal voice:
"WTF?!  That's what you woke me up for? The smell of bread?  I freakin' smell that every morning, but you want to make mention of it now?!  Ugh!  Someone is in totally gonna get some CRACKS!"

 A slight chuckle passes through the bus from the passengers.  I gingerly open my eyes (because my thoughts are still in disbelief) to scowl more profoundly in the direction of the new driver.  My internal voice begins to shout: "Don't encourage him!  He has just one task and one task only -- to drive the bus!  That's all.  There's no commentary; this is not a tour bus, you are not a tour bus driver, we are not passengers on a tour.  No!  Absolutely not!  Just do your job and drive the damn bus!"

..... to be continued

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Back around the middle of April - March, I wondered if this year would ever end.  Now, we are only a week away before the clocks count down to a brand new year!  A lot of changes have taken place, and most of them within the last few weeks.

My sister and her family have moved to Alaska.  Alaska?!  Her youngin's left late Christmas eve and have arrived early Christmas morning.  It'll be a great Christmas for her and the family.

As for me and my family, we'll be spending it gathered around our nearly dried out Christmas tree, eating turkey, ham and some other good eats (hopefully none of which will be dried out).  But it hasn't been all tinsel and glitter this Christmas and I can't really put my finger on why that is; my cousin has a theory about that thought.  He thinks it has something to do with the fact that we haven't hung the lights up outside around the house.  He's said it so frequently that I'm almost ready to believe him.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I came home from work and found twinkling, bright lights climbing the coconut tree in our front yard, along with Rudolph, Santa in an airplane (why? I don't know), and Frosty lined up along the walkway like it was a Macy's Christmas parade.  Obviously someone had been to Costco and came back with most if not all of their Christmas yard trimmings. 

I guess I just haven't been in a Christmas frame of mind, even with all the colored lights and scented trees, but I am thankful for the blessings in my life: faith, family, friends, work.  So, here's to Christmas: lights, tinsel and great smelling trees, Costco for bringing Christmas to our front yard!  For whatever it means to you and your wishes always; and Merry Christmas everyone!