Sunday, October 04, 2015

General Conference through the ages

At least my ages.

Last night Jill called and we talked about the previous 2 sessions (no, neither of us sat and watched the Priesthood session).  I was trying to explain  how our viewing of General Conferences had changed over the decades  but then, in talking with Dawn, Dawn reminded me of something I had forgotten.  So I shall regale you with what it used to be like before technology became such as it is now…and I just wonder what it will be like in the future.
This is the first chapel we attended, my mom, grandma, sister and me.  It was on Lake Avenue in Cleveland. This picture came from a dedication book.  President David O. McKay came for the dedication.

In the beginning, we just learned about what was said in General Conference when the little booklets were printed and mailed out...I'm not even sure they were whole messages given  in the Improvement Era magazine.  I just know somehow we got them and we read them, studied them.

When I was young, as a young teen, we would go and sit in a chapel and the conference was delivered by a phone line through the audio system.  Nothing but hours of listening to the words coming through a phone.  It seems like the lights were not always turned on bright in the chapel.  At some point, the local ABC network, Channel 5 WEWS, would broadcast the 1st session of Saturday’s conference at like 5am or 6am on the TV.  Dawn said she remembered Robert and I getting up early on Sunday and watching that one session.  We’d go to church and a sweet old lady, Marian Ballif, would put up a picture of the General Authority who was speaking so we had something to look at and connect the voice to the picture.  Marian was from Utah and very familiar with many of these men.   Like this of the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith.  And we would sit and often just stare on the picture as we listened....truthfully.  We did that.

(She even had a set of recipes of ALL the prophets' favorite food/recipe.  I have a copy somehwere.  Marian gave me my first accordion.  She knew I had wanted one and her lungs made it impossible for her work the bellows)  

There was some disagreement with WEWS and other churches, I think..or the advertisers and they stopped the presentation of that 1st session. 

But then Cablevision TV arrived in this county.  At that point, I think Cablevision was the only cable network…at least it was in Sheffield lake.  My mom kept up an ongoing campaign to get them to agree to broadcast conference.  She was a terror. But she made it work.  It was a joy to be able to sit in our own homes and watch the Brethren speak to us.  Around the same time, the ward buildings began to install satellite dishes. those huge ones, and now not only did we have voices we had video. 

Today, some cable companies offer the BYUTV channel.  Dish and DirecTV do.  And if all else fails, there’s the wonderful internet which can be hooked up through the HDMI cable to our television (which is what we personally do right now).  Oh and Roku TV. 
I went out to church for the Women’s session broadcast and learned we have satellite issues which I gather have not been corrected yet.  Perhaps it never will be.  But we do have a Roku tv so the ladies sat in the RS room and watched that session.

Now the conferences are all held in this huge building.  The Authorities must seen like tiny ants if you were to be given seating in they way back.  This place (and I have been there) reminds me of the Cathedral of Tomorrow in Akron, OH.  Built for Rex Humbard who my grandmother and I used to watch on TV before we found the restored church.

Once while still at BYU I attended a conference session in the old Tabernacle. See the pillars along the sides?  It was just my luck to be seated behind one of them toward the back.  And man!  were those pews HARD.  Obviously I was not made of pioneer stock, at least not of pioneer butt.

But while at BYU, we were able to watch each session on a small black and white TV which I had brought from home.  And we could watch them in our apartment.  It was here, after Robert returned from his mission in the Franco-Belge that we started our tradition of having Conference (coffee) Cake and juice on Sunday morning of conference. This continues to this day, in each of our children's homes as well.   This morning Jordan asked when we started to call this Conference Cake and not coffee cake.  I think it started pretty early because Robert, being the forever Mormon, didn't want to use that term around our kids.

But I have been blessed to have grown up through the technology changes and have grown to appreciate General Conferences is in a different way through the decades.  It still works best for me to list 2 questions I am searching answers for before the start of each General Conference and then to wait and see who answers and when. Almost always the answers start in the first session and end in the last. How does that work?

I don't believe in having a favorite speaker/favorite authority.  I don't want to remove myself from learning from all of them.  Inevitably, many of them answer my questions and give me a whole lot more to think about.

But the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored the earth and with it all the truths to help us become more like Heavenly Father and my Saviour Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for Elder Fred Day who brought this gospel to our home, and to my mom who had always been on a quest to find the truth...who then embraced it and held fast to the iron rod until her dying breath.  I shall do the same.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall 2015

 Fall arrived by calendar this week.  I keep hearing that there's a different First Day of Fall by Meteorological determination, not the solstice.  Me? I'm sticking with the solstice.  I'm ready for fall but a bit sad to see summer over.  It was a wonderful summer weather wise.  And I guess in all wise.

I remember that down at 809 there was always this one rose bush that allowed one rose to bloom late into the fall.  There were a few years when the rose would still be around when the leaves had fallen from the trees and snow was in the air.  Roses for us are pretty young and new here at 3830.  But just this week, this lovely yellow rose bloom, right next to the garage.  It's too spectacular to snip and put in the house.  It's meant to be seen and enjoyed.

 Strangely enough, this fall our faithful spring primroses have started to blossom again by the patio.  They are the most welcome when the winter snow has melted.  We see them along with the crocus and snowbells.  But to see them again this year, in the fall...well, that's pretty wonderful.

Equally wonderful is this strange sunflower plant.  Last year we had one and this summer we have many more.  They grow tall and green for months.  As you can see they are almost as tall as our home and just when you think there will be no flowers, mid September you awaken one morning and WHAMOOO..that's for Bopnpapa...there they all are, in resplendent yellow.

 I have no idea what this plant is but in the fall these pods burst into fluffy stuff.  The stuff doesn't fly off into the air as a similar plant does in the spring, right before the advent of the midgies.  It just hangs around.  I wondered to Robert if the birds that stick around through the winter come get the soft white down for their winter nest.  He didn't know but I like to pretend they do.

This summer I asked Robert to grow some Indian corn and he did.  They turned out incredible.  I will purchase some great fall ribbon this weekend and hang them outside, everywhere.
 So fall is here...and with it comes a trip to visit the Florida Hatches and a few days after our return we must might be hosting Hillary and kids until their Michigan home is ready. is Jordan's last day at work at Chico's in Florida and Monday he starts work for the Wolverine shoe company.  I say shoe company because I actually have no idea what all they sell.  I know there are boots involved.

The only thing missing in my life is Marissa/Hank and their 3 California.  Oh how I miss them.  Facetime is wonderful and needful but not the real thing.    But it will have to do.

But I rejoice that I am still alive to enjoy the days left to me.  To enjoy my children.  To love and appreciate the grands.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Glassworks in Ohio City.

 Robert had mentioned a couple of times that he would like to learn how to blow glass or form a Groupon appeared online.  It took me several times to successfully buy one for him and today, Labor Day is the day Robert scheduled his class.  So while I went to the ward breakfast, he went to Ohio City  I think he had a good time.  We won't get the cooled project til next week.
Here Robert is warming up the tip, til it's red hot.

 Picking glass up on the tip.

 Initially it was a blob of hot, molten glass and at this table it's rolled into a cylinder, like a tootsie roll.

  Periodically Robert would need to reheat the glass.

 By rolling the rod over this metal frame, the glass is allowed to cool slightly.

 The hot glass is placed on glass colored chips.  This changed the color of the glass, gives it a pattern.

 Heating the chips so that they meld into the larger piece.

 Shaping the glass.

 Here the hot glass piece is being pulled down to form a neck.

 The instructor shows Robert how to smooth the rough edge using a torch.

The finished product has arrived...or I should say productS.  Robert made 2 things.

This lovely flower

 and a cup!

It was a good day!  Robert loves to learn new things, sometimes by reading, other times by doing.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Cordelia has a new house for the fall/winter. And I think she likes it.  She's much like Honor and Scarlett who love to sing.  If I am very quiet I can hear her gentle whispers of song.

I have enjoyed succulents because they don't take any work but I can talk to them, transplant them with somewhat ease and just enjoy them lining the bay window in the front room.  Years ago Diane Pepin sent me a link for succulents in a bird cage but, alas, no cage.

UNTIL last week when Brandy deLeon was selling one at her yard sale.  Today in almost 90 degrees heat (and you all must know how I hate the out of doors, dirt, and heat) I decided to attempt to put it together.  Jocelyn had sent me a lovely arrangement of succulents for my birthday and they had really grown large and needed more space.  So with those and some from the window I decided to make the arrangement.

I needed some weed resistance 'fabric' and wouldn't you just know it...when the Pepins moved (how dare they) we were given some stuff and bought some other things.  Among those items was this:
 So I spent a bit of time scrubbing the stand and the cage and then let the pieces dry in the sun.

 It was a bit trickier than I had hoped but that's because the top doesn't come I needed to add my lovelies through the mesh or through the small door.    Hopefully the cage and top knot will hold up the heavy cage.  If not, it will rest on a stand I already have in the front room.

Yes, I know I need some color but for now I'm calling this good.
Thanks to Diane and Randy Bott for encouraging me. For Dawn and Adelle who are learning to enjoy
some succulents of their own.  For Jocelyn and family for the lovely
succulent garden in the midst of winter that kept me so happy...and still does.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Seminary Resumes

Luckily for Robert, he has had all summer to prepare for this year's Seminary course of study.  Last year, if you recall, he was called a week after the West side kids had already begun and I think he always felt he was trying to catch up, which wasn't true because he has such a firm grasp of the scripture.

This summer he spent over 5 hours every day working on the lessons.  He got through all 160+ of them once and then started all over, being certain to compile the visual aids, the attention getters, the PowerPoints, and any sort of films he wanted to have handy IF the spirit and need arose.
All 7 kids arrived yesterday for the first day.  Seven of the nicest and brightest.  There are 2 seniors this year...Brendan Pospisil who is finishing up his last year at LCCC as well as playing football for BHS and working.  Jacintay Boldware is ending her high school year as she started, at BHS only now BHS is a brand new school.  Samuel Eddington is a junior at Avon High School and is involved in academics and music as well as being a thespian.  Jacintaya Cuellar is a sophomore at BHS and runs track and sings in the choir. She also is coming here for piano lessons.  New as freshmen at the table is Gideon Tonkinson who has the cutest smile, sense of humor and plays in the marching back at Avon Lake High School.  Noah Kitchen seems sort of solemn but when I subbed taught in SS, I've realized he has a good understanding of the gospel as well as a sense of humor.  Rounding out the group is Joel Pospisil, also at BHS, and a major  cross country and soccer star.  There may be other band members and other activities but currently I am not absolutely certain.

They also all arrived to this sign over the 'seminary room' doorway.  To be clear...these are NOT the colors of the University of Michigan (which I hate and somehow didn't think about the color scheme when Robert selected the vinyl) but IS the colors of Hillary's West Muskingum High School (go Tornados).  Be clear on that fact. I said to Robert, if you mention Michigan in this room, I'll take the vinyl off the wall and be aware that taking it off was way lots easier than putting it up.

Yesterday I served breakfast as they entered but being such a proponent of breakfasts to start the day I will always worry the kids don't get enough to eat before school.  Today the lesson was on the Plan of Salvation.  Robert had the kids start with a game of Plan of Salvation Croquet. Sadly, the only one who knew how to play was Brendan.  Each wicket had the event name of some portion of this wondrous plan.  The idea was for each kid to get the ball through the wickets in order and end up in the Celestial Kingdom, where they received gold wrapped Hershey nuggets.

I was upstairs and attempted to get some pictures but at 6am around here, it's not very light out.  Robert helped them with the concept if they needed some help, a flashlight (standing in for the Holy Ghost) was a good source.  You certainly didn't want to go through the wrong kingdom. It was funny to hear Gideon comment "but I don't want to die".  After the game, I was content to return to my bed and let the class continue.  I know these pix are not excellent.  Too dark, didn't want a flash, didn't want to be observed but I did want a record of the morning.

and so the year of Seminary continues.......................

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Evan's Big Weekend

Evan turned 12 this past week so on Sunday he would be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  This is a huge moment in a young man's life.  We were going up on Sunday but Dawn asked us to come up as early as possible and to brink Niko so he and her new dog, Pepper, could get to know each other. We would see how they responded to each other and then would know if Pepper could come here when they visit us.

We started the weekend by ending Friday with the Barlows at the Crusher's baseball game in Avon.  Not that any of us were baseball fans but there is food and it's a lovely field.
The night was filled with freebies from various vendors and it ended with fireworks which were amazing.  It was a dry day and not hot at all.  I actually brought along a heavy jacket and used it!

While at the game I received a text from Robert's nephew, Ryan favorite nephew.  He was in Cleveland at a wedding and suggested we meet for breakfast. He was so kind as to drive west to meet us at First Watch at Crocker Park (this was the napkin ring and suits me just fine) rather than having us drive to Mayfield Hts to meet him since we were heading to MI.
 And yes, as bestman at his friend's wedding he even caught the bride's if only he could find  a good woman who wants a good man AND be willing to have at least 3 kids.

Naturally we got there before he did and waited in big overstuff chairs.  At one point, while reading the newspaper, I look up and Robert's laughing.  I had no idea what was so funny til I turned around and saw Ryan standing behind me.  Truly...he is my favorite of all Robert's kin. And not just because he saved my life on that blasted mountain in Utah 15 years ago but because he's Ryan.  He's sweet and so very smart...and also trying to find something. Not sure he's looking in the right places but he's just ideal. What's wrong with girls today?!  But we had a lovely time with him and I am so glad we made this time to meet up.

We returned home to grab Niko, our suitcases and head to Michigan.  The dogs were perfect together. Adelle drove us to church

(seems so strange that 14 year olds plus x# of months can start to drive in Michigan).  Here are the 3 guys...Connor, Evan, and Robert, in the wayback getting buckled up for church. Sadly we didn't get a picture of the 2 boys with Robert AND Ken.
The bishop of there is new and is still learning how things get done.  We had completed the business part of the Sacrament Meeting and he hadn't called up Evan to have him sustained to be ordained as well as to make mention of his advancing out of Primary.  Ken sent up a note to the bishop so before the closing hymn, the bishop announced that Evan had turned 12 and was leaving Primary....STILL NO SUSTAINING!  I was afraid that we might not be able to witness the ordaining but afterwards the bishop checked his handbook (or was corrected by someone) and reassembled all he could at the end of Sunday School and we sustained Evan.  Phew!

We all gathered in the Deacon's Quorum and Ken ordained this bright young boy to the Aaronic Priesthood and set him apart as a Deacon.  It was a really great moment.

After a great dinner we headed home, leaving with tornado sirens blaring. But we missed the rains and storms and made it safely home. This is how Niko looked nearly all the way home.  Playing with a 1 year old pup, wore out my very old friend.

I think we barely got on I75S and he was snuggled up snoring!  It was a great weekend, as always.

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