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Showing posts from February, 2015

What ever happened to Don Doss?

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While growing up my parents use to rent out two of our five bedrooms to college students since we  lived so close to the university. We got to know a variety of people this way, many of them foreigners.
One such young man (although he seemed very old to me at the time) was Don Doss. Standing here with my sister Robin in 1963.




His mother wrote the famous book, "The Family Nobody Wanted."

It was made into a movie in 1975, starring Shirley Jones, and also a play that high schools still perform.

It's all about how she and her pastor husband adopted 12 children, all from different nationalities and
mixed races. This was back in the 1950s and 60s when adopting out of your race was just not done.  Or
very rarely done. Don was their oldest of the 12 children. 
It was quite the book back then. We had heard about it before even meeting Don. So he lived with our  family while attending Fresno State in the early 1960s, for I don't even know how long……a year?  A few years? I don…

A random strange find

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This was so strange to find….


One of my journal entries from 1970…. that would be just…uh, 44 years ago!
I had a class in high school with this guy named Kevin Costanos.  I don't remember a lot about him but I did write this back on May 15, 1970. (and be kind when you read it, I was only 15)



Why would a 15 year old guy care at all who built our home or anyone else's?  This may seem random…..but it has a point.

Just so happens that years later, the Kevin Castanos above joined Wathen homes and turned it
into Wathen Costanos Homes. If you are from this area you know its one of the oldest,
and well known builders in this area.
He obviously had homes and building in his blood all along….
because what other 15 year old kid cares what subdivision anyone lives in?
I saw him at my high school reunion 2 years ago…. (he's on the left….don't know the one on the right)


So what is the point to this?
Sometimes we can see signs of who are children or grandchildren will become someday.

Glad I went that night….

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So earlier this month I went with my sister Robin to her Relief Society Meeting… for all the women in her ward.
The last speaker talked about FHE….which stands for Family Home Evening.  Something we strive for every Monday night.
But it's not the same now for us empty nesters. I hung around after the meeting and told the teacher, Lori Pope what a great job she did…. however also telling her I was feeling a little down that part of my life is over. 
I have no children in the home to teach every Monday night. 
That's when Lori shoved this handout at me…...

She said, "Here, do this with your married kids." 

So I approached my local kids and my Dad and Susan  and asked that we all gather at our home for dinner and FHE. 
I decided that we would just do question #1….and then meet 4 more times to do the others. 


I madeChicken Tortilla Soup with all the toppings and homemade Mac and Cheese  (although it wasn't really homemade but from what I heard it tasted like it was)

Didn't see this one coming

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This was so strange. So I noticed the salon was very quiet. 
Much more so than usual. I asked Teresa, 
who was cutting my hair, where everyone was because 
looking all around me I couldn't see a soul.
She said they had all left home for the day. 
So while Teresa was trimming, I started talking about  Dennis…how we are in the process of cleaning out his 
make-do office down our hall,and creating a more functional 
office for him right off our front door. I said to Teresa, 
"This is hard becauseI know nothing about 
organizing an office." Just as I finished that last sentence, 
a woman came out of nowhere and 
handed me a pamphlet and said,"Here."

My jaw dropped. All was quiet, and then I asked, 
"WHERE did you come from?" Like she had just fallen out of the sky. 

The woman explained she is a manicurist and had just 
finished her last client for the day, and heard us talking. 
She must have been working behind a wall.  I asked this suddenly appearing woman, 
"Have you…

The Wonders of this past week #1

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Téa, who is only 5 1/2,  suddenly announced  she wants to add an "h" to the end of her name. 

So she wrote it down and presented it to her Mom.
And after all these years of not using the top shelves of my kitchen  cupboards (because I can't reach them)….I gave them all to  Dennis! He is delighted to have room for all his snacks.

And his latest snack, that he SO LOVES…. (and I wouldn't know because I have yet to taste them)….
Thanks to Betty Lou, he now has a fruit sweetened/gluten free 
dessert whenever he wants….and shelves to put them on. He keeps 
saying they truly do taste like a piece of pie. And might I add, he 
has gone back to Sprouts at Riverpark THREE times in 1 1/2 
weeks to buy more. 

(Being the minimalist he is, 
he can't quite grab the concept of buying in bulk at one time.)


Why do I get the feeling our Robby 
rushed from soccer to cello practice?




McKay and Leo (Tyler and Karen's son) with matching shirts. 
I'm pretty sure this was random.
(One does not usual…

Do you have a favorite TED talk?

Does this poem speak to anyone like it does to me?

Healing Powers

In 1956 Dr Alice's Lancet article shared her discovery:
At a rate of 2 to 1, children who died of cancer
had mothers who were x-rayed while pregnant.

But the world was in love with the cool new machines,
And surely doctors intent on healing
Could never do harm.

The slaughter of the innocents continued for
Twenty-five more years
Despite the news.

"Openness alone cannot drive change."

Institutions cannot think.
They are comprised of people
Who find some information frightening,
And the conflict it evokes threatening. 

They do not see
Conflict as a kind of thinking.
They have not yet embraced
The value of differences
Nor built the muscles
Such thinking requires.

Dr. Alice (the people person)
and statistician George (the reclusive nerd)
danced a passionate pas de deux.

His task---to disprove her theory,
Hers, to prove it right.
They brought their best:
Their devotion to science's highest purposes,
opposite perspectives,
Their varied ba…

What is a terrible idea?

I agree withTHIS.

Just in case anyone else is as naive as I've been as to what this is all about... 

I had heard about this book/movie months ago, but didn't really 
know what it was, or what it was about and I didn't really care. I 
DO care now. 

And really, teenagers are even reading it? How very very sad.

The Walk and the other 4 books

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So captivated by The Walk, I had to keep on reading each new one in the series….
and here I am amonth later, and as of late last night, I've read all FIVE.
This is so not like me. I'm generally not interested in fiction.  But this series sucked me in. Den, too. He's on book 4 right now.
Did you know, dozens of people called the author from their death beds  because they wanted to know how his series was going to end before they died? 
And did you know that on "multiple of occasions"  this series interrupted someone's plan to commit suicide? 
I like it because this series is about PEOPLE.
All he met walking across America. Made me realized, once again, that EVERYONE has a story.

Yes, I know the people are fictitious characters, but still…like my mom use to say
 about fiction, "I'm sure it happened somewhere!"
This series also makes me want to go out and about, and talk to more strangers.



What do you say when you talk to a stranger?

Some ideas I fo…

Feeling the love last night

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There were red and pink everywhere last night.
It was our monthly Relief Society meeting at church,  for all us women. I look forward to going every month, but especially every February  because Valentine's is my favorite holiday.
My most favorite RS meetings are when we have speakers,  and last night we got to have FOUR. One speaker challenged us to ask in prayer each day  where we can be used "in just one little place." 
She said even when we are busy with our families  and all we are trying to get done,  we need to be aware of the people and needs around us. Another speaker quoted "May we do a little better…." from 
President Monson. She talked about how years ago when she had 
newborn twins. There were 2 occasions when she was very 
overwhelmed and needed help and called her neighbor. Somehow 
this neighbor dropped whatever she was doing and came and 
helped her. These twins are all grown up now but she still 
remembers the help she was given by her neighbor.



We were given th…