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ANWA Member since Oct. 2003 - Chapter President of "Write to the Point" writing group.

Monday, August 10, 2009


This has been a busy time for me - going here, going there, back home again, and off once more! Gee I'm starting to forget what home looks and feels like. But I think I'm home again for a while this time... can't swear to it though.
Early this morning I started doing some much needed vacuuming, and as I vacuumed nooks and crannies I moved this and I moved that - the result being that all of a sudden I was reorganizing too. I reorganized the living room and dining room. I kind of like the change... hope hubby does too when he notices what I've done. It made me think how our routines are constantly being up-heaved and reorganized do to circumstances in our daily lives.
Yesterday my husband and I were set apart as the Maricopa Stake 2010 Trek Boss and Mom... this means we are the ones that are doing all the planning, putting together, and seeing that the 2010 Youth Pioneer trek for Maricopa Stake is a success... wow tall order! We're in the process of deciding when and where it will be held, we'll have to go to some sights to check them out for feasibility. We gave out some assignments yesterday at the Stake meeting.
You may ask what does this have to do with vacuuming? Well indirectly a lot I suppose, I'm having to vacuum out my life and get things reorganized in order to put the time needed into the trek. So far I've created a letterhead for our correspondence and I've created an e-mail addy for all trek e-mails. This also means getting up early enough to do my household things so I can still put time into my writing and painting ventures. It likewise means getting enough sleep so I can continue working at the Temple two days a week. It means that I need to spend less time dinking around and actually accomplish something. It means setting aside the proper amount of time for exercise - do you think I can walk the pioneer trek in the condition I'm in right now... I think not! I would be like one of those pioneers that died right in the first few days of the trek due to physical health... now I'm thinking that would NOT do for the Trek Mom... so more committed exercising and healthy eating. You get the picture... vacuuming out my life... ho hum

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Okay, is it just me or what? There have been many times in my life that I've felt like I must be invisible...
When I'm sitting at church all by myself and people come in and sit by other people all around me and leave the chairs next to me empty. I must stink or be invisible, I'm not sure which... Nope, I know I took a bath and used deodorant, so I don't stink!
Then there have been times when I'm sitting at church and everyone around me are welcomed, EXCEPT ME... what am I invisible?
When I've written and made a comment to a group of people, and don't get a response... am I invisible?
When I've been talking to family members and no one hears me... now I'm really starting to feel invisible. I pinch myself to see if I am there, all I get is a bruise. So, I go to the mirror and look in to see if I can see myself... yes I can see a reflection... humm? I wonder, can invisible people see themselves in a mirror?
Well this week it has been confirmed - I AM INVISIBLE! Not invincible, but surely invisible. This is what happened...
Remember I live about eight miles west of town out in the country. I take my dogs out and put them in their penned dog house each night so they won't run the neighborhood and cause trouble. The dogs pen is around the corner and behind the barn, so it gets very pitch black out there. I told my husband that I would like a motion light out there so I can see where I'm going. He complied and put a motion light on the front porch, he put a motion light on the back porch, he put a motion light above the shop on the front of the barn, he put a motion light at the end on the back of the barn.
So with all those lights I've been able to go out there and have lights going on every step of the way keeping me from stumbling on a pebble or ant hole and falling or breaking my leg on a tumbleweed, you know I'm accident prone in the funniest ways... anyway that's another story...
Well, when I got home from my camping trip and went out there to put the dogs up and NONE of the lights came on I thought my hubby had turned them off while I was gone and hadn't turned them back on. Three nights in a row I had no lights coming on. I finally remembered to mention this to said hubby. He said they worked for him. I said they don't come on even when I walk around in circles trying to trip them.
So the other night when we came home from swimming at our daughter's house, he drove the car all around out there and every light came on. See they work. I said thank you for fixing them, he said he didn't do anything. I said yeah right. Later when I went to put the dogs up not one light came on. I went in and told him. He shook his head. Okay see, now its official - I AM INVISIBLE even my motion lights can't detect me!
Last night... still not a light came on for me even when I walked around trying to get it to trip... yup I'M INVISIBLE.... Grrrr - this explains a lot - here I thought it was because I'm shy, nope its cause NO ONE SEES ME!!! I'm INVISIBLE... hey maybe I could use this to my advantage...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home again, jiggity jig...

Wow it seems like 4EVER since I've been on here.
Well, I guess it has been.

I've been a busy gal ya know,
I was busy with family reunions...

Motorcycle riding, Golfing, & homemade Ice Cream...

and Swimming...

Were just a few of our activities.

Then family pictures & the baptism of our grandson were also among our activities.

I then went to my ANWA writers Retreat...

This is the group of us:

Then off Camping...

Yes, I set up this tent and hammock and campsite by myself... Ha, I'm so efficient!

This little Chipmunk my sister, Shirley, and I named Tubby, because he was so fat and chased all the other Chipmunks away when he was there filling his cheeks with our peanuts. He was sure fun to watch.
This is just a few of my last two months activities... So rounds out my fun. Next it will be back to work on my novel, Today, Tomorrow, and Forever. Actually I've been working on it all day until now. So there you have it - a few things in the life of me, Zany G....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The other day I was driving up to the mountains for a fun camp out, when my glance set upon my hands on the steering wheel. More directly I noticed my fingernails... nope those aren't Mommas fingernails, they're mine! (Momma loved to care for her nails and did it faithfully, keeping them filed into beautiful shape and polished - always stylishly long.) But this day, as I gazed upon my own nails which were filed and shaped much like my mother's with polish on them too - I had to smile.
You see for as long as I can remember I've been a nail biter. Chew, chew, chew... never being able to attain nails like my mother's, no matter how hard I tried - I would eventually start biting them again. I just couldn't seem to stop biting them, even when I didn't know I was doing it. I smile now because after all these years it's taken me until I'm officially a "senior citizen" to overcome that nasty habit! How funny is that!?!?!
It goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks - you can overcome lifelong nasty habits if you persevere. Even now that I'm home from camping and I've broken a couple of my fingernails - I went and got a file and fixed them shorter and didn't bite... yippee!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today is the day we celebrate our mother's. What I can do for mine is look up into the sky and say "Thank you mom for being such an awesome woman, mother, friend, and example." My mother was one of those elect women who everyone loved. She was loved by each of her 11 siblings who held her in high esteem all of their lives. She was loved by each of her neighbors, which extended beyond her neighborhood. She was loved and revered by each of us, her six children. She was especially loved by our dad, she was his sweetheart and he loved her and cherished her beyond her passing from this life. He loved to sing her love songs in Danish and in fact was singing her one the minute of her passing and he sobbed as she left him. My mom was an exemplary, elite woman! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOMMA!

By Momma’s Side
written by Joyce Smith

I love to go walking by my Momma’s side
And the way she steps out in a great big stride;
This can bring me joy & make me happy as can be,
For in this she has taught me to beauty of every tree.

I love to sit and read at my Momma’s side,
For the knowledge this has brought, gives me great pride;
As a child I recall we would sit on the sofa to read,
And from this I learned, for my own children, to do the same deed.

I love to sit at my Momma’s side and hear her sing,
For great joy and contentment this does bring;
Now I go about my own house with a melody in my heart,
And this has taught me, with a smile, to try & do my part.

I love to stand at my Momma’s side to do dishes in the sink,
To remove all the spots from them & from the house every stink;
While we were busy working together & making the house shine,
She taught me that more than money, a great wealth is mine.

I loved to sit at my Momma’s side to watch her sew me a new dress,
She would do this without thought of self, I must confess;
And she would spend hours making my dolls cute little clothes,
Is it any wonder that sewing is also a talent that I chose!?!

I love to have Momma at my side to go out and look at the stars
And to see all the wonders that are ours;
For learning to appreciate all the wonders in the universe,
Has taught me to sit down & put my thoughts in verse.

I love to go to Church with Momma at my side,
To hear all the stories & of the whale with Jonah inside;
For going to Church with Momma, don’t you see -
Instilled a strong testimony of Christ in me!

So I want you to know that having my Momma by my side,
Has filled me with a deep love for her and great pride;
For she has taught me all she knows and the B attitudes,
And for all of this & more, I owe her a deep debt of gratitude!

I love you Momma!


Friday, May 8, 2009

My Book review

Due to being sick this past week-end, I spent most of my time reading. The novel I read was: Counting the Cost by Liz Adair.
This is Liz’s fifth novel and I’ve enjoyed them all. I find her to be one of those novelists that can grab your attention at the beginning of the book and keep you spellbound to the last surprising chapter and page. Liz has a knack of transporting the reader into the story where they experience the action, loves, and heartaches of the lively characters within.
This fictional account is a love story set in the middle 1930’s New Mexico and Arizona. Counting the Cost is about Heck Benham and his struggles as a cowboy out on the range, whose life is changed drastically by a forbidden love. Heck is faced with decisions that will take him from the cowboy life, which not only he’s good at but that he loves, to the love of another kind. I found myself frustrated with him at times and excited and happy for him as well. Having grown up on what I lovingly call “a poor dirt farm” in Arizona, I could relate somewhat with some of his homes, activities, his love of cowboy life and some of the crude ways he was forced to live.
Life in the East for Mrs. Ruth Reynolds has been one of a total contrast from the life she’s asked to live when her husband moves her to a ranch in the west. One thing that I found both funny and poignant was when Ruth, in her fancy dresses & shoes, is required to learn to function doing manual labor with her delicately manicured hands. Ruth finds life with her husband to be one of great challenge. The decisions Ruth makes seem to have little regard for the cost to herself, her loved ones or those around her. I found that I admired her tenacity and persistence in being able and willing to do some of the things required of her, but also irritated by some of her thoughtless decisions.
Lucy, Heck’s little sister, becomes a true friend to not only her brother but to the proud Ruth Reynolds. When Ruth discovers Lucy has a talent for sewing, she asks Lucy to teach her how. This new found talent brings Ruth excitement, challenge and life changes that she would never have thought likely. Lucy goes through her own trials but is still able and willing to help others and to teach Heck and Ruth both valuable lessons.
Liz Adair paints a picture of human struggles in epic proportions. Trials of integrity, loyalty, forgiveness and the courage to face the cost of the decisions we make are all an intrinsic part of this story, where Liz takes us into the characters hearts and homes. If you’re interested in a good book to read, I recommend Counting the Cost by Liz Adair.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Such is life - Swine Flu, etc

Wow I haven't posted for a while... not that I haven't missed you and wanted to be here - just didn't have time at first...
Our friends Chris & Jeanie from Oregon, came to visit and spend the week with us celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary... great friends, great times! We shopped and hung out talking and goofing off - then on Thursday, our actual anniversary day, we took Chris & Jeanie to the Temple in Mesa and did Sealings. Our daughter Tonya met us there too and we had a great time doing that. After we took Tonya home and changed we went to eat dinner at a quaint little restaurant we had never been to before but decided it was good enough that we would go back again. Good food and service. We left there and found a parking place for our car and hopped the Light-Rail to Phoenix. We walked the rest of the way to Dodge Theater from the train stop, where we had a first time experience seeing the Celtic Women perform... what a show they put on! We had great seats too. Fantastic!!! But they didn't allow camera's so we didn't get any pictures. Bummer! We got home late but our spirits were satiated by an awesome day.
Friday we went to Tucson, AZ where we went to the Air Museum and explored the aircraft stored there from the war and other advents. Don was in the Air Force for 20+ years so this was a highlight of his day and he even got to take me on a plane ride. (see picture) We explored the Air Force 1 in storage there from past Presidents of the U.S. back when. The opulence wasn't near the quality that I'm sure is in the current Air Force 1, but it was fun touring it and all the other airplanes there and to hear about them. After our tour we went over to the Air Force Base and vouched Chris and Jeanie on with our ID's and shopped around in the BX before heading back home.
Saturday we had to take Chris and Jeanie to the airport so they could fly back to Oregon it was sad to see them go but our friendships were renewed and we were better for having had the week with them.
Now here I sit weeks later just putting another post. This Thursday my sister Shirley came to visit and we had a blast going all over town together. We first stopped and had lunch at Arby's in honor of our father. Daddy loved walking down to Arby's and getting a "sandwich" for his lunch then walking across the parking lot over to Dairy Queen where he would purchase a Dilly Bar then walk home eating it. This was a daily routine for the last couple years of his life, so Shirley and I decided that since it was the day of Daddy's birth that we would celebrate for him by going to his favorite place to eat. We later went to Dairy Queen and got a box of Dilly Bar's with my daughter Tonya then left her with the other three when we took her home. We shopped more and when the day was done and we had wished our daddy a happy birthday several times we came back to Maricopa and to Dairy Queen here and bought another box of Dilly Bar's to take home (which by the way cost a lot more here in Maricopa - go figure.) so we could have a week celebration for dad.
Well, we just about walked our legs off on Thursday so we decided to take it easy on Friday which ended up being a good thing because when I woke up Friday I was sick. This is not fun. I hate being sick. But I guess if you have to be sick this was a good time because I was able to take the time to do something I haven't done in a long time... read. Shirley and I sat across the room from each other reading our books, then putting them down and visiting, then picking them up reading again. I sat carefully because I kept getting dizzy, I had a huge headache and the whole nine yards of sickness with a cold. BUT I found a wonderful thing. My friend Linda told me in November to buy some Zicam and that if I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold to take the Zicam and it would keep me from getting sick or at least not so bad. I forgot I had it. But when I remembered I had Zicam I decided to try it and it helped greatly. Thanks Linda!
I didn't go to Church yesterday though because I still had a little cough once in a while and was afraid that IF I went into a coughing spell that people would think I had swine flu and would mass-move to the other side of the room, causing the building to tilt off its foundation. I had visions of people fleeing the church from all exits yelling, "Swine, swine; seu-ie, seu-ie" in their best pig calling fashion, running for their cars and leaving me sitting on the pew all alone with a Kleenex dangling from my nose. Yep, that thought kept me home. Such is life.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Glasses or air headedness...

I know, I know, I've posted already today - but I was thinking of this funny experience that I had one time when trying to re-new my drivers license...
First you need to know that I've worn glasses that I don't take off, except for showering, swimming, and bed, for a good many years. Well I went into the motor vehicle department one day to get my drivers license re-newed and was told I had to go do the eye test.
After waiting in line for my turn the woman behind the counter said for me to take my glasses off so I could take the eye test. I told her I couldn't see clearly without them. She said, "Well if you don't take them off, I will have to put it on your license that you have to wear glasses." I told her, "That's fine because I wear them all the time and when driving anyway." She insisted that I take them off to take the eye exam... I did and she said, "Tell me what line you can see clearly." I said, "None" The woman got all flustered and said in a sharp voice that she's going to have to put it on my license that I have to wear glasses!
Now is it me or was she having an extremely air headed day I wonder? LOL... I'm wondering what's the big deal of having it on your license that you HAVE to wear glasses when you wear them anyway? I wonder if its a ding against the worker to have to put it there - does it cost her something - does it cost her more time and effort? I don't think so... too funny!

Judging others...

Wow, if you haven't seen the clip of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent... you've missed something awe inspiring. Here's a link: http://twurl. nl/v0twq8

This is a fantastic example of not judging someone by their looks. It's amazing how even Simon is shocked to speechlessness with this stunning performance. I love the smile on Pierce's face but the smile Simon has is quite a sight. Way to go Susan!!!

I dreamed a dream... certainly we all have dreams and this shows that dreams can come true if we put ourselves out there and reach for the golden ring - the sky's the limit - and all of those clichet's. Dream on and go for it...

When I grow up wouldn't it be awesome to go from complete obscurity like Susan to a name renowned around the world? One of my favorite sayings is: "When I grow up I want to be an OUTRAGEOUS old woman who never gets called old lady. I want to get leaner and meaner, sharp-edged and earth-colored till I fade away from pure joy!" Yes, that's who I am but it would be nice to be all of that and more! Yep...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1st Signs of Spring...

1st signs of Spring
Oops I neglected to add these pictures before I posted - so here they are.
The Palo Verde tree with all the yellow blooms I like to call my "humming tree" because when you walk by it there's such a humming sound from all the bees that love it... fun! The pic on the right is our Olive tree that I spoke of.

Springtime musings

Going outside even here in the desert-lands is quite a sight. I live on what we lovingly call "Tumbleweed Ranch" where we have tumbleweeds galore and not much more other than dirt. When we moved here we decided that we wanted a little green so we have planted some trees, flowers and grass (which isn't doing well due to the salt content of our well water). Here are a couple pictures that I've taken showing some of the first signs of Spring at our house. I hope you enjoy them.
The one of my Olive tree is kind of symbolic - this picture was taken on Easter Sunday. Symbolizing in a very very small whit - our Gethsemane's. Life is full of trials and heartaches but if we endure them well we will be the better for it... NOTHING we go through in this life will compare in the least to what our Savior went through for us! How can we possibly repay Him? By living life the best that we can and remembering His sacrifices for us, that's how.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Nothing ventured, nothing gained is a life-style I’ve often thought about. Joseph Smith exemplified it when he read in the Bible to ask of God for knowledge. He thought about it and then went to a quiet grove of trees to see for himself if prayers really worked. Nothing ventured, nothing gained indeed.
Added to my list of many I’ve thought about is Gideon when he was asked to fight the Midianites who were numbered as the sands of the sea. He took his small army of 300 to fight for the right. He knew he didn’t have enough bodies in his army to fight a fair fight but God had told him what to do and he ventured to the task. (Judges 6-8)
Mary and Martha were great women who lived this in their lives. David was another when he went to fight Goliath – now obviously David knew he didn’t have the physical strength to fight the mighty giant Goliath. He also knew he had God on his side. So off he went, a mere boy, with his rock and sling to slay the mightiest man in the kingdom.

Now I don’t pretend to stand anywhere near these men and women of the Scriptures – yet over the years I’ve realized the life-style of nothing ventured, nothing gained is one of great importance to me.
To illustrate this principle in my own life: There was a time when I was feeling misplaced. Oh I was happy enough, I had a wonderful husband and seven great children, still something seemed to be lacking. I needed more than these “four” walls. Although college came to mind I was anxious about that idea because of my shyness. However, I ventured forth and it was one of the single most important things I’ve ever done for myself. I would never have fully understood myself or my own worth had I not gone to college.
While seated in my kitchen one day, I had a scene pop into my mind that I thought could be the opening scene of a novel. I mulled it around for a week or so and when it kept coming to me I ventured forth and started the process of writing a novel. I’ve worked on it for years, nevertheless it’s been a growing process and venture I would never have thought possible of myself.
Another venture was when I took up oil painting. It started from a TV painting show and thinking I would like to try it. I borrowed the tools to do my first painting and I eventually took classes on painting.
One day my son, whom had gone to Mexico City on a mission for our church, asked me to do a painting of the Mexico pyramids. I wailed that I didn’t know how to paint pyramids! Then one day it came to me – “nothing ventured, nothing gained” I realized that IF I never tried to paint a pyramid, then certainly I couldn’t paint one. I decided that I would try it but not tell my son what I was doing – if it didn’t turn out, I could destroy it and he would never know. I prayed and studied pictures of the pyramids in Mexico again and again until I finally took a paint brush and slathered it with paint. Although it didn’t come easy or without frustrations – I persevered with everything I had. When finished I liked it reasonably well and gave it to my son for Christmas that year. He was surprised and overjoyed.
One more example was when I was asked to write a play for the commemoration of the Relief Society organization of our church. I said I had never written a play and didn’t know the first thing about writing one. However I agreed - then read books about the R.S. so I could write a plausible play. Again I prayed unceasingly. I not only wrote the play but directed it as my ward members put it on in honor of the Relief Society Centennial birthday.
I’m now a member of American Night Writers Association which helps me gain a better understanding of writing. I’ve started another novel and written several children’s stories, which I hope one day to have published. Yes, if you never venture forth to try new challenges in life, you may never gain the potential of your God given talents and purpose in this life. Okay lesson learned – now to just remember and apply it more frequently.

“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” ~Helen Keller


Friday, March 20, 2009

Doing the best that we can...

Well, the poem I shared yesterday I've revised a little, but it's still the same basic poem. I hope you enjoyed it.

Today's thought is this: "When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." --Helen Keller

I'm continually amazed at the impact that we have on each others lives as friends and family. I belong to a writing group called ANWA (American Night Writers Association) and the women in that group are regularly impacting my life and helping me reach to new heights. This blog is one of them; Not being so afraid to share myself with others is another.

Over the years I have met many marvelous people that have wrought miracles in my life, even though sadly some of them I've lost track of. Betty Kille is one I've lost track of but she's one woman that I will forever cherish in my thoughts for the miracles she brought to me when we lived in Alaska 40 years ago and I had my twins. She unwaveringly and unselfishly came to my aide on a daily basis. You see I had a two year old son, and a thirteen month old daughter when I was surprised with the pre-mature birth of twins that I had no idea I was carrying. Betty came over and helped me fold diapers (before the world of Pampers) and take care of my little family. She was my friend in the true sense of the word, not only did she help me physically but she gave me mental support through her loving kindness... She's an awesome woman that I will never forget even though I've lost track of her!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Death of a Dog Toy

Oops - Somehow I zapped that post so I'll try again...

Have any of you ever owned a dog? If you have you will know what I'm talking about here or at least be able to relate. This is a poem I wrote in honor of a dog tog that's gone and never to return:

The Death of a Dog Toy
By Joyce Smith

One day I looked out the window and what did I see?
Well it was the death of a dog toy that could not flee.

That fine toys white fluff was scattered all over the ground
And the poor thing was laying there not making a sound.

As though scared half to death, its yellow fur stood straight out
Lying on the grass with no mouth - its face seemed to pout.

I tell you its big black eyes seemed to stare straight at me
But that couldn’t be possible for that toy could not see.

Now there were no feet left on the forlorn little thing
And it looked like its black hair had been given a fling.

I gathered it all up and threw it in the trash-can
And I thought, what a way to end its poor life - oh man!

My dog had played with it so hard that it came apart
Now that’s the story of a dog toys death from the start.

~All rights reserved~

Dogs give their owners many things. Here are my 5 C's to what dogs give you: Caring, Comfort, Curiousity, Comic relief, and a desire to Curse!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who's Zany G?

At a writing conference that I went to on Saturday March 7th, we were advised by Doug Johnston (who gave a session on Publication and marketing), to create a blog. So here goes:

You may ask why did I name my blog "Zany G's World"? Zany G stands for Zany Grandma. A couple of my teenage granddaughters told me a while back that I don't drive like a grandma; Grandma's drive slow and jerky. I laughed... my husband has been known to give me nicknames derived from famous race car drivers such as: Nelly Parnelly; Netty Andriette, etc. Lately he's taken to calling me "Tigerette" because I've started hitting golf balls across the land. He's such a funny guy!

I'm not a fuddy duddy grandma but a zany grandma who likes to drive fast; go camping in the woods; and wish I could do cartwheels across town; swim the English Channel and roller blade around my kitchen while baking cookies! Yep that's me!