I love Halloween!

It has been forever since I have written… I seem to go from one thing to another, without ever coming up for air.  But this year, I had 2 Halloween costumes that were created by 2 very creative people: 1st I went to a Halloween party with my helper & friend, Angie, who did Dr. Finkelstein in one style, using make-up—Angie went as Sally, Dr. Finklestein’s helper from “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Then, we had a trunk or treat at our church this weekend, but I wanted a more family-friendly costume for it, though…At 1st, I wanted to be a transformer. Then the Dr. Suess fish in a bowl.. But one day Mark joked about how when I talked, I sounded like E.T. & he had me say, “E.T. Phone home”. I DID sound like E.T.,  & the costume was born…so, Mark did ET in another style, using his own set of talents. He was Elliot, I was ET, & my niece was the moon.  I love how I can give  Mark or Angie a creative project, & say, “Here’s what I want to do…now make it look awesome!”  & they do!



BTW, I still LOVE my standing chair!  Our world & our bodies are made for standing, & it comes in handy for the smallest things (like I stood up in order to pull down the medical coat for my Dr. Finkelstein costume)! I had a tilt table (a type of standing frame), & had looked at other standing frames before the standing chair, but the fact that I needed help getting into them turned me off – & now I’d add that the lack of mobility while standing would kill me, cuz I love being able to move while standing: getting into cabinets,& going down the hall (which freaks my kids out to see me “walking” down the hall!)

Several years ago we looked into a standing wheelchair, but we were in our old house, & it wouldn’t fit in my elevator.  I was super bummed, but it was a blessing in disguise: I was not strong enough then.  I was too weak to even stand up w/o assistance, & after sitting in this chair for extended periods of time, I can see how much less support it offers…it would have exhausted me!  , This chair requires much more torso strength, which I never developed until I started taking horse (equine) therapy (which I started  later–I was like a rag doll until then!)

Just checking in…

It has been a while. If u saw my posts on Facebook or Instagram, u know some of what is going on:

–my son, Zach, came home from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ, serving the people in San Diego, CA in ASL (sign language).

–My daughter, Jessie also graduated from high school

–we had a party for my son & daughter to welcome Zach home, & congratulate Jess

–we went on an Alaskan cruise

–both my son & daughter went to BYU a few weeks ago, & on the way, they were rear-ended (they are ok, & were protected)

–my 18 yr. old daughter became the Relief Society president over the other college-age girls in her BYU ward (congregation)

–I got a new wheelchair that can use to either sit or to stand.   (I am like a transformer, & if I have my knee brace & chest strap on, I can “transform” from a sitting car, into a  robot…& when I do turn into a “robot”, I turn into a robot that is much taller than my “human form”!  (My “human form is 5 feet, 3,5 inches, while my “robot form” is like 6 feet tall—it’s pretty awesome!). 🙂


The week after I got my new chair was crazy trying to NOT sit!  (After 14 years of sitting, standing is a bit more appealing!)  However, in the last 14 years, I have created a world for myself where I sit, so I was very limited to what I could do standing...BUT if I’ve learned anything in 14 years, chances are high that I will need to make a sacrifice in order to gain something greater. So, despite limited things to do, I spent more time doing other things:  when I stand, I lose my belly (that I support my iPad on), & I lose my lap (which means I can’t use my iPad pillow, or carry/transport stuff, but talking I can do sitting or standing, so I  did a lot of standing & having conversations.—Oddly, it has actually become a challenge to sit & talk: Maybe a coincidence, but I think my diaphragm is less squished, so I get more air when I stand…However, I don’t think our dog, Cooper, likes my chair too much, also, since his lap is gone, & he’s always staring at me like he’s saying, “When’s it my turn?”  I now have a tray (I am standing as I type this!), but our dog HATES how he can rarely sit on me now!



When I went to write my last posts, I realized I had these written as well, but I never posted them:


Here’s a post I started to write after my Christmas phone call with Zach:

Next time I talk to Zach (on Mother’s Day), he’ll be home like 3 weeks later!  These 2 years have gone so fast!  I remember how, when I was a teenager & my oldest brother served the 1st mission I had ever experienced, it seemed to take FOREVER!  It was so hard! But this is not “my first rodeo”, & my brother’s mission was before Skype… at least now u can see them on Skype when they call!


Here’s a post I started to write when Giuli left & I bawled like a baby:

Giuli left today, & I bawled like a baby I am terrible at goodbyes!  I get weepy anyway, but if my PBA kicks in, I sob!  I hate it!  & If I want to speak, I can’t, because my breathing becomes so erratic!


The thing I hate most about PBA is how I give mixed signals. I may laugh at a dirty joke, for example. Not because I think it is funny, but either I “sense” how the person telling the joke feels, I hear laughter, or the emotional response of disgust comes out as laughter instead of tears.


Here’s a post I started to write after I read the New York Times obituary for President Monson:

This part of the New York Times obituary for President Monson ticked me off: “…the church declared same-sex couples to be apostates and restricted their children from baptisms and other rites.”  That is not true at all!  If u are a kid of gay parents who are living in a way that conflicts with the church’s teaching about eternal families, how can u be baptized, & live peacefully with your parents???  You can’t!  The church was being sensitive to what could have been an issue!  & it is not like we are against same-sex attraction, but because God has taught us about eternal families, we are encouraged to live in accordance with our beliefs, & unfortunately, a same-sex couple cannot procreateJ, so it is not a lifestyle we promote!  But this has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANY prophet!  Prophets speak for GOD!


That’s all folks!   We are all caught up!

What do u take for granted?

My last post was not a search for sympathy (though I appreciate all comments I received)!  But I did want everyone to know that I am “normal”,  & I wanted to share how I am dealing with it.  I am actually grateful because I am finally learning something that I kept trying to earn, & had run out of ways to learn it!

However, getting myself to post has been SO hard, & over the months, I have started 6 different posts, & I want to share what I have: Here’s the 1st post…I started to write it as I was getting better (after being sick a total of 3 weeks: 1 week with the flu, then I remained congested, but since I can’t cough, it stayed in my lungs & must have  gotten infected, because once  I had antibiotics, I felt like a new person!)  I added a bit to what I started, just finishing the thought I had.  Here it is:

I always assumed that I was someone who did not take my health for granted. I know how fortunate I am for every small movement my body has, since the doctor’s prognosis was that I’d only blink my eyes. But, I realized that I take breathing for granted.  It just is always there!  So, I wondered if I am that way with other things, & I realized I am: I thought of how I was when Mark or my kids were new in my life.

 When I met Mark, there were things he did that no one had done for me before, & I Ioved that he did them!  I still love when he does those things, but I think they are more “expected” now because that is “just how Mark is.”

It is the same with my kids.  We were aware that Zach was a peacemaker in our home, but when Zach left home, we realized just how much of a peacemaker he was.    When Jessie joined our family, there was this zest  for life that came w/her, & it has become  such a constant in our life, that it will surely leave a hole & change our lives when she leaves soon (she  is  18 years old now!)  Soph has filled our home with music, & is always willing to help me.  We have 2 more years w/her, & better not take that for granted!

It’s been awhile…

It’s my nature (well, my OCD-personality!) to apologize & explain when I disappear for a while, so sorry I have not posted in awhile! While I’ve been gone, I’ve been jotting down notes of things to post over the last few months.  Rather than make 1 mega long post, I plan to write this post, & then post about 6 shorter posts in the next few days…

As for a brief explanation of what has been going on:  1st, I was fighting depression (I just had too much going on, so when I crashed, I really crashed)!  Then I was sick (& STAYED sick for like 3 weeks)!  & I have been incredibly busy (I was recently asked to be the primary secretary at church, so I now assist those who help & teach the kids who are 3-12 years old)

I have also been gone…Over President’s Day weekend, we went on a Carnival Cruise.  Carnival cruises are very “red-neck”¸ so I feel very out of place on them: I am like Rose on the Titanic, visiting the lower decks–she kinda doesn’t fit, but enjoys the people, ya’ know?  The entertainment on Carnival cruises suck, but I enjoyed every minute in my room—whether I was playing cards or having family scripture/prayer with the relatives who were on board, or whether I was alone in my room letting Mark rest.

A while ago, to help me deal with my depression, I began reading a book that Mark had introduced to me, called “Feeling Good”, by Dr. Burns.  Dr. Burns mentions 12 Cognitive Distortions. If we can change them, it helps depression, anxiety, OCD, & more. So, in an attempt to really learn them, I began “fasting” from one each week (instead of no food, each week I would focus on a cognitive distortion): I had read something about an alternative approach to fasting–rather than giving up food or TV, it suggested ;

  1. Fast  from anger & hatred (love more)
  2. Fast from judging others (overlook faults)
  3. Fast from discouragement (hold onto God’s promises)
  4. Fast from complaining (remember blessings)
  5. Fast from resentment or bitterness (be forgiving)
  6. Fast from spending too much money (save 10%, & give to the poor)

I liked that concept, so I tried to fast from these  cognitive distortions.  But that wasn’t working, because I need to learn to identify them, before I can “fast” from them…so, since I’d obviously been focusing on cognitive distortions of late, my OCD came into play as I did it…however, I got tired of writing the same stuff, & looking up meanings, so I made a template to fill out. (Mark gave me 4 more distortions that I added to it, as well!)  In case u are curious, here’s my template:



My Thoughts/Emotions: 


Cognitive Distortions/Rational Thoughts:

Filtering (Mental Filter)

Good and bad things are happening simultaneously but you only focus on the bad


Disqualifying The Positive

When good things happen, you reject it by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other, thereby thinking that nothing good happens


Global Labeling (and Mislabeling)

Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded—it is an extreme forn of overgeneralization: Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself

 “Black and White” Thinking (All-Or-Nothing Thinking)

If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure–when something has to be one way or it is ruined



You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat


Jumping to Conclusions—Mind Reading, The Fortune Teller Error.

You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out, or you anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an established fact


Catastrophizing (Magnification) or Minimization

You exaggerate the importance of things, or  you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny



a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. May also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for & we also compare ourselves to others


Control Fallacies

If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate, but if we feel internal control we assume responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us.


Fallacy of Fairness

We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us



We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem



You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.


Emotional Reasoning

We believe that what we feel must be true automatically


Fallacy of Change

We expect that other people will change to suit us if we just pressure or cajole them enough


Always Being Right

Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness


Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.