News from Nonna: February 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I am sitting and silently, well not really, laughing to myself over the state of the weather. Having just spent several lovely weeks in the state of "Tundra Pocatello," I have a hard time understanding two inches of snow and some ice cancelling church. But to be fair MCI was closed down for awhile. I do remember many lovely ice storms here in good old Kansas City. People accidentally leaving their sprinklers on not expecting freezing temperatures. It is quite a beautiful sight but my sympathy after Idaho is a little low. You can hardly find Richard's mother's house for the banks of snow and when you can only see the very tops of the fence posts I say it is time for Tahiti. (Like I would ever get to go)...........................................................

The Upchurches were coming over for supper tonight but now Uncle Gary is sick with the flu. They have a notice on Grandmother's center, warning that the Type A flu virus is being fought at this time. I wonder who else will get it? So much for those flu shots. I don't have time to be sick from now until the wedding is over. If I can just hold off until then. :) I'll take my licks as they come.

I took some pictures of Daddy and everyone is going to feel sorry for him when I finally get them put on this blog. This poor man is a scar from one end to the other. He is so bruised and the staples make me wince. So I keep learning more and more about the sufferings of others whether I want to or not......

So, just another Sunday in paradise. I can't believe I put my makeup on for this!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

GED in RN at home......

The sling was rubbing against Daddy's arm and of course he had a reaction to it. This was driving him crazy, it was one big blister or hive and he itched continuously.................
The bleeding and aftermath of his shoulder surgery ran down along his scar line from his open heart surgery! Oh, Daddy...............................

And to think this was his 20th something surgery. How has one man's body withstood the test of time and a poor gene pool?


Well Daddy is home again from his surgery yesterday and is in quite a bit of pain. He says it is more painful than his open heart surgery and so we are being very careful. He and mother make me laugh. By the time you have been together over fifty years you pretty much have each other figured out. He knows what she is going to say and she knows what he is going to do and so I sit back and watch!

I figure that I have almost earned an Rn degree between my surgeries and Daddy's and Mother's. It is interesting to hear us talk about medications, IV procedures, tape reactions, rehab, how to bathe, sleep, walk, recovery time etc. All in all, we are pretty amazing or pretty pitiful. On to another subject......

When I was looking for Richard's wedding ring, which I am beginning to think he lost on purpose, there are some hot women in Pokie!!!!!, I found two tapes that had been made in 1981 in Mountain Park, Oklahoma. It was me talking to my great grandmother, Grandmother Messick, and my Aunt Ruth and Grandmother. It was so interesting to listen to them. I know where my accent comes from and am proud of it. But life was so completely different back then just two generations ago. What a hard life they had, but they thought it was wonderful. They worked so hard and my grandmother and aunt actually started picking cotton when they were two and three years old. So many wonderful stories for my posterity. So many things to learn from these amazing women. We had five generations when I made that tape and we have five generations today. What a legacy. I am having them made and put onto Cd's. When I get home I will have Jerianne help me put pictures up. I am so blessed with Family, so blessed. I just wish Grandmother could listen and understand what was happening but that time is passed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Here it is at 5 AM and I can't sleep, so many things running through my mind. And yet, heaven knows I need my beauty sleep and others will suffer if I don't get it! This last month has been such a learning curve and I am ready to slow down some. Seems I have too much to learn and the Lord is surely trying to teach me over and over and over.

I am now in Kansas City and today Daddy will once again have surgery. I belive this to be his 26th time of " going under the knife," in his lifetime, and yet he bears it with bravery and faith. They will be putting a pin in his shoulder and fixing three tears in his ligaments. I know he lives with a constant level of pain. His poor body has been used up and yet he keeps trucking. When he was a very young man he used to lift 100 pound tires and throw them over his shoulder. That was when I was born and he was working 2 to 3 jobs at the age of 18 to support a family. I think one of the things that impress me so much about him is that you never hear him complain or say poor me. He has had some really tough life experiences yet he continues on not lamenting how hard his life has been. I am trying to be like him and yet I seem to want everyone to go along on my life journey with me! I guess I am a wimp. Thanks Daddy for your example.

Now I guess that I need to put this down so that I can try and go back to sleep. I have been thinking how the Lord works in His own special way and how He knows the end from the beginning. As I sit here I have been thinking about how good deeds come back to you. Things that you have done in many years past, long forgotten, without expectations, are repaid at the most unexpected time. I visited my Grandmother today and it is literally breaking my heart to see her. She was the most alive, vibrant person I think I have ever known, and now she is just existing, waiting to go home to where most of her family now resides.........back to a loving Heavenly Father. I never thought I would ever say these words, but I want her to be able to do the same, she is suffering and so are we and there is such a better place for her to be. The ironic thing is, is that she is in an assisted living facility that is virtually out the back door of my house in Kansas City! Why am I in Colorado, when if I was here I could do so much.? Sometimes guilt eats away at me. I still don't understand and struggle with the Lord's plan, but hopefully some day I will.

Anyway, to the point of my story. I have a dear friend who is more like a sister actually. She went to church with me and we have known each other a long time. We were visiting teaching companions and became good friends. She and I have been through a lot of situations together and no one would have ever guessed she and I to be so close. We come from very different backgrounds and life experiances and yet we are "sisters," in the gospel. How amazing when you think about it. Well, come to find out she has been going and sitting with my Grandmother at supper time every evening, feeding her, ( I think my Grandmother is trying to starve herself to death) taking her back to her room, getting her ready for bed, and watching a little TV with her until she is sleepy. I am not talking about occasionally, she has been doing this almost every night. I have cried all day, thinking about the service that this dear friend is giving not only to my Grandmother but to me. She is serving me by doing the things that I cannot do for myself, but want to so badly, unconditionally! I asked her why, and she said, "Because of the Gospel, because I love you." How amazing, and how humble I am to be taught by her. Did the Lord know long ago when I helped someone in need that they would turn around and serve me to this extent? I believe so and "I Stand All Amazed!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This is for Jerianne!

I took the quiz on your blog and this is who I turned out to be. I've always wanted dark hair and a slim waist. I was pretty intrigued by this quiz and so I went out and bought the book , Persuasion, by Jane Austin and I was amazed because I recognized myself in her. Woo, a little spooky but I enjoyed the book

Counting My Blessings! Over and Over.....

Working at the Liberty Tax Office has been an experience of a lifetime. (One I hope I never have to repeat) So I am trying to learn everything here that the Lord wants to teach me. I have great compassion for Richard and for the amount of blood,sweat, and tears, that he puts in each day. He is a hard worker and a very efficient and caring person. I have seen him get up every morning early enough to be in here by 7AM and we don't leave until after 9PM. I have seen him give discounts to people who are in desperate need and even do some returns at no cost. He rarely even takes time to drink water and so when I am gone we will all have to send reminders. But, I respect his work ethic and hope that this year works out to his advantage. If I thought that I had to stay here until April I would be very depressed.........

Secondly, I think the Lord wants me to be aware once again how richly blessed I am. Not only in material goods, but with family, raising by my folks, ethics, honesty, hope. CLEANLINESS OF BODY AND SPIRIT............................Woe you can't even imagine. I feel as if I have been living and working in the inner city and the despair I see on some peoples faces is haunting. And the sad thing is that, that despair is passed on to the next generation. I think some of these little children will never have a chance to be anything different than what they have been taught. So many of these folks aren't married, fighting over who claims the children etc. When I was growing up we were not well off financially but we were clean and happy. I am very aware of not judging others and I swear I have treated every one with respect. But I think that the biggest impression that I will come away with is, that the Light of Christ, and the hope that shines from faces of those who know, is so apparent and is so vacant in the ones who don't.

I have also discovered that I am a little OCD. I have those Clorox wipes out every time someone leaves from the tables and as we speak I am soaking the Legos, in hot water and soap. Right now I feel as if I will never be clean again, and then I think of people in third world countries. So you see my dilemma. I have counted my blessings almost continually since coming here and for that it has been a wonderful experience. BUT DON"T TELL RICHARD!

I WILL............

I have had a very interesting experience in the last week. It is something that I want to put down for my children and my grandchildren and so may not be interesting to the general population>:) WARNING! There are no pictures.........

There is someone that I have always had very tender feelings towards. I have been thinking about them alot and in the past month I have had a very similar dream several times. In my dream I was supposed to go and see them and tell them some very specific things. Sometimes I am very leary of myself not knowing if I am being prompted by the Spirit or just making things up in my mind. And so I had this dream again this past week. As I was sitting in our Sunday School class, taught by someone much younger than me,( but again who isn't?), he was talking about the differences between Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi. Up on the board he had written the words, No.........I don't want to.............I'll try.......................and then in capital letters I WILL.....
Then he asked us who were we like when the Lord had need of us? I had an overwhelming feeling that the Lord was prompting me again through him. And so this time, I prayed, took a deep breath and told the Lord, I WILL. And so I did. It was actually a little terrifying going to this person and explaining why I was there, but I love them so much I have their best interests in mind and hopefully the Lord's. It turned out to be a very touching moment and I know this person knows how much I care about them, but I believe they also know that the Lord is very aware of them and the challenge they bare. I hope that I am able to always have the attitude of Nephi and say, I WILL, when I am asked to do the things he wants me to do. I feel that I have not always succeeded, and sometimes it has taken me longer than others, but I have a great desire to serve Him and am so aware of my blessings.

In the interest of making this blog my journal, I will write down another experience that comes to my mind when I felt a huge prompting and was terrified to do as I was asked. It was before my dad had joined the church and I had been doing genealogy work. I really felt that I had and still do, the "spirit of Elijah," and am very aware of family here and beyond the veil. I was literally kept up all night, and I mean I did not sleep at all, with so many thoughts running through my mind that I needed to tell my dad. I was up and dressed and at my folks house by 8 AM the next morning, all but ready to bust. I don't remember now the things that I had said to him, but I do know it had to do with unifying our family and how much he was loved and needed. I am not exactly sure of the time sequence, but it was not too long after that, that he was baptized. It was just a small moment in a series of things that had happened to him to let him know that the Lord was aware of him and now was the time for him to put his life in order. What an amazing series of events that lead up to his baptism. And now he is a sealer in the St. Louis Temple. It doesn't get much more inspiring than that. But it was another time when I said, I WILL, and although it took so much courage, I could not deny that the Spirit had prompted me to do the Lord's will.

And so it is in my heart to let you know that I know the Lord prompts us through the Holy Ghost and that we can be instruments in His hands to help him help others. It is not always easys to discern the Spirit and I am still working on it even at my age, but it is a precious gift for which I will be eternally grateful.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


You know how my dad and I are "an accident waiting to happen?" Well, I don't think we will need any help with this one. I wash my hair and hang on to the side at the same time because the floor slants toward the wall. I dropped the shampoo behind the tub and told Richard if I looked like the witch of the west, I would NOT get behind the tub to find it..............
An actual walk in closet! I mean really it comes with four chairs from the 1950's and a mouse powder deterrent on the floor at no extra cost...................................

This is our front room designed especially for entertaining LARGE crowds. Can you just see the amount of fun you can have in here?

Of course, this is the office, desk space and all. So much hard work is done in this lovely work space. An extra table is provided for that oh so important scanner or extra laptop, what a plus!

Be sure and notice that no space is complete without my typical addition of greenery. It sure brings the outdoors in doesn't it?

Mike can you believe it? A blue chair from our home in Liberal in 1954............We need to put it in the Smithsonian along with Archie Bunkers chair.

Notice the front door with the pull string light, and an added bonus of extra "cotton" insulation in the key hole. How blessed we are.......These are the pieces that I want to call Antique Roadshow about. Oh, I forgot we signed a lease that we wouldn't steal..................................

Now we come to the master suite. I am at a loss for words.

Front door to "Home Sweet Home!" I don't want my children to ever say another word to me about doing my part of the job! Please excuse me while I call HGTV FOR AN EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER. ty..................................Ty..................................................TY HELP!

So now I have the actual proof that I am not making my life story up or even exaggerating this time, although my side of the family does tend to stretch things every once in awhile! These are actual pictures of the "apartment" that I am now residing in. Believe me, I don't mind working until 9 PM so that I only have to actually spend my sleeping hours in this lovely piece of property!!!!!!!!!!!!