Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Post on Summer Mornings

Dear Blog followers, I put together a Memorial Day post for Penrose Mornings and in a stupor of thought ended up posting it on Summer Mornings.  So please go over there to look at it.  I'm trying to figure out how to move the post without redoing it.  Advice willingly accepted.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Liz and the Chickens: Happy Birthday

We've all seen this picture a million times, but the question remains, "How did Liz attract all of those chickens?"  Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday to Elizabeth

 Does it feel as though the time has flown by? Happy Birthday to a very dear sister. I hope you have a wonderful day. Love you lots.

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Picture blackout on heading

After I open this blog, the header photo shows for a few seconds, then blacks out into a big black box.  It doesn't do that on my Mac.  Does your computer black out the header photo, and does anyone know how to fix it?  Have a nice day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time for Graduation

Today, it is an accepted expectation that we, our children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren will become graduates of high school, and, perhaps, a university. Some end up with multiple degrees. However, when our mother, Minnie Arrilla Wasden, was young, there was no local school after the first eight grades were spent in the schoolhouse that we saw in an earlier posting. Our grandfather, having only attended three actual months of school during a time when he was ill during his childhood, had a strong desire to have his children educated. He strongly supported the school in Penrose, and then, when the older children had graduated from eighth grade, built a small cabin-house in Cowley, about 12 miles away, where there was an LDS supported academy. Uncle David, and later, Uncle Brooks attended. I don't know about Aunt Sofe - she married quite young. But, when Mother finished the 8th grade, she joined her big brothers, all of them keeping house. On Sunday afternoon, Grandfather would load up the buggy-wagon, hitch up the team of horses, and with a load of provisions, would take the students to Cowley for the week. I don't know how often they came home, but it couldn't have been every weekend. Can you imagine spending your high school years in that fashion? Mother finished high school by age 16, but Aunt Elna was ready to attend, so she stayed another year. Then, the high school in Powell was completed, and Elna transferred there, while Mother took Normal Training in Powell, so that she could teach school. Obviously these diplomas were very important to Mother, because she kept them with her treasures all through the years. In this time of graduation for our family members, it is good to remember the example that has been set by our ancestors.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

I suspect the greenhouses are just bustling with the prospect of just how much people are going to have to replant. Yesterday there were the Western Tanagers playing in the bushes and today there is white rain covering their playground. What can we do? Just stay inside and not fuss about what is going on outside. Steve says the temp at his house should be up in the high 70's and low 80's today and tomorrow. I can only think this is global warming at its best. Welcome to Monday.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010


     26 years ago Mary Lynn and I became partners as man and wife and have not regretted it for a moment.   She has been my best friend for over thirty years.  This year she was put to the test and she handled it with great calm and intelligence.  I could not have had a more caring person to take care of me guide me through my incredible odyssey and with our new found life we hope to spend may more anniversaries together.


Notice how everything is seemingly an air of mutual trust, but if you look into Mary Lynn's eyes you can see that this is not going to end well.


And then someone tries to take control and everything goes haywire from then on.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Party's Over

The candid shot - Ann's laugh, and Paul's relief at being able to discard the pose. What fun to be around these two - there is never a dull moment.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Square Foot Garden(ers)

Thanks for the Grant Wood pose! Aren't those beds beautiful? Paul worked so hard on them an now Ann gets to plant and grow beautiful veggies, etc.
This picture is for Judy. Aren't you proud of your sister doing the compost routine? The green compost bucket is a dead give-away.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Spring, and the Swallows return to Capistrano

We enjoyed two short visits with Dwight and Velna last week - I'm sure they came north from St. George in time to enjoy the briskness of northern Utah springs, and to be at home so we could stop to see them. (By the way, Dwight promised to do bodily harm to me if I posted this picture, but since we live over 100 miles from them, he would have to come to Preston, right?) Anyway, it's always a joy to be able to visit, and we got to admire the beautiful photography that Dwight is doing these days.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Minnie Wasden Blood Scholarship Fund at Northwest College in Powell WY

I am happy to tell all of our family that the initial $5000 donation for the Minnie Wasden Blood Scholarship in elementary education at Northwest College in Powell WY has been completed.  The State of Wyoming has matched with another $5000, so we have a $10,000 endowment with which to begin the scholarship.  The first scholarship will be awarded this fall, and we will be informed about the recipient when it is awarded.

I think Mothers Day is an appropriate day to share this news.  I love the idea that one young person each year will receive a few hundred dollars to help him or her prepare to be an elementary school teacher.  The elementary ed program at Powell has expanded greatly, according to Shelby Wetzel, director of the NW College Foundation.  I think Mother would look on with approval.

Shelby Wetzel informs me that the College has some remaining state matching funds available if we want to continue adding to the scholarship.  Each $1, therefore, is expanded to $2.  The earnings from $10,000 are not munificent, but I know from my own experience how much an extra hundred dollars (or five, or ten) would have meant to me in college, and Shelby confirms this from her experience in working with so many students at the college. 

I do not want to put any pressure on anyone, whatsoever.  I intend to continue making modest contributions as time goes along.  If anyone else wishes to share in expanding this scholarship opportunity, I invite you to do so.  Even $50 now and then would add up.  I do need to let the College know about how much we think we might add to the scholarship over the next several years so they can earmark the matching funds for us, thus enabling a doubling of the effect of our contributions.  Please let me know if you think you would like to continue to participate.  I thank all who have donated $50, $100, or more up to this point.  If you would rather not participate, you need not reply and that will be fine.  But I would like to let Shelby know whether we think we can raise an additional thousand or two in the next two or three years to add to the scholarship.  I intend to leave something in my will for a modest increment to the scholarship.  Again, thank you.  I think we will all feel good about seeing this scholarship in operation.

Donations can be sent to Shelby Wetzel, Director Northwest College Foundation, 231 West Sixth St., Powell WY 82435.  They are tax deductible.

Mothers Day 2010

Nearly 30 years have passed since we lost our mother.  Few days go by when I don't remember something, think about something, about mom.  I always need to ask her something.  She was always stingy about giving out any information, or would answer in roundabout puzzles that suggested you may as well give up.  She was not about to tell anyone one smidgen more than she thought she could get by with.  She has been gone with all her secrets intact and I think she still needs to tell us about many things.

Here are just a few things I remember her saying:
  1. When I did a hurry-up job mopping the kitchen floor, her words were "Do it over, and do it right this time."
  2. One of her favorite sayings was "It's time for all of us to go to bed," even though it was only 9:30 and even though I was 30 years old and visiting with all my kids.
  3. "If you don't quit squeezing your pimples, I'm going to paint your face with merthiolate."  Which she did.
  4. "Quit annoying the little kids."  Whatever.  They were plenty annoying to begin with.
  5. "If you don't hurry up and catch the schoolbus, you'll have to walk to school."  A mere distance of 12 miles.  I was forced one day to take off on my bicycle but it was freezing cold and I only made it four or five miles before I turned around and headed home, suffering from advanced frost bite and hypothermia and who knows what else.  Definitely child cruelty.
  6. "Did you wash behind your ears?"
  7. "You kids stop fighting."  It wasn't me.  It was my sisters.
  8. Wash your hands.  Scrape your shoes on the porch.  Don't track up the floor.  Make your bed.  It's time for breakfast.  It's time for lunch.  It's time for supper.  (not dinner.  We didn't do dinner).
And here are some situations where mom never said anything:
  1. When I lit up a cigar in front of her and dad when I got home from an FFA trip.  Three puffs and I was green and that was the last cigar I ever lit.
  2. When I got poor grades one year in high school when I was overinvolved in activities and got disgusting grades in chemistry and geometry.
  3. When I left home for the University of Wyoming, over 400 miles away, barely after my 17th birthday, with no money, no job, no prospects.  She never said, "You can't go.  You have no money.  You are too young to go off on your own.  You'll never make it.  You'll have to come home if you can't make it."  She just assumed I could figure out how to make it.  Which I did.  Eight years of college.
  4. When I was excluded from the Junior Honor Society in 8th grade because the battleship known as the principal thought I had a bad attitude.  Me?  A bad attitude?  I never had any idea.  I thought I was a good boy.  And my grades were among the highest in the class.
  5. She never told me I couldn't do something or try something.  Like school band.  Like school annual editor and paper editor.  Like FFA president.  Like having FFA sugar beet and calf and hog projects, though at great sacrifice to our meager family budget.
  6. She never really told me I should plan to go to college.  I merely decided early on on my own and she knew that.
  7. Nary a word after we went to Cody and painted the Cody "C" into a "P" for Powell way up over the Shoshone River.  The Cody Enterprise newspaper was outraged and threatened the hooligans from Powell, whoever they were.
  8. Actually there was more than just a solemn moment when I bought a 1939 Ford with green, yellow, and blue hubcaps from Earl's Super Service, where I worked at age 15 between my junior and senior years of high school.  My dad gave Earl a piece of his mind, and the car's transmission gave out in six weeks.  But for six weeks I had a blast.
  9. She never told me I couldn't make up new words for Church hymns, although there was a tense moment one day when I went in the house cheerfully singing the words to one inventive hymn, only to be informed by one of my sisters, "Shush, Grandma Wasden is in the living room."  I departed in haste.
  10. She never told me I wasn't allowed to spend my noon hours and supposed study hall periods in that den of profound iniquity, close to Sodom and Gomorrah, known as Funk's Pool Hall.  How I loved to shoot pool.
I have only begun to list the things Mom said and the things she didn't say.  The things she didn't say often had a more profound impact than her lectures, which, to say the least, were not timid or pussyfooting lectures, but straight to the point, and you had better get the point, because your life depended on it.  But I miss all of it, to this day and will until the day I die. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Our first stop on our way to Orem last Wednesday was at Louise's home in Layton. We had a great, if short visit - She and I can compare quilts and quilting in a minimum of time, because of the wonderful minutes (?) we have spent on the phone keeping up with each other's life. As my older sister, she has been a wonderful example of a mother who has managed to weld her family together in many ways. May you and my other sisters have a day of good remembering tomorrow.