It’s A Whale Tale

We had a marvelous time in San Diego with our friends Jim and Liz and Bob and Barbara.  We ventured out on the Hornblower boat to take in the sights of the Pacific Ocean.  The vessel takes you along the city view of San Diego and out south towards the Mexican border.  We saw harbor seals, walrus, lots of birds and whales.  Watching a whale to me is a magical experience that reminds me how small I am in nature’s scheme of things.

Whale WatchingProject Life

whale project-life

As you gaze out into the deep ocean blue, a calming comes to my soul and makes me realize the beauties that are all around us.  It is so quiet as you scan the horizon for the first signs of a whale. Eventually you will see puffs of expelled air as the whale rises to the atmosphere to take a deep breath of oxygen.

However, the real jewel of whale sighting is when its massive body surges upward and out of the water. The whale tail raises to showcase that tail fluke which is the envy of all photographers.

That is my favorite part of whale watching and my hope is to get a beautiful photograph.

Waiting For Grey Whales

On shore watching
patiently waiting
for grey whales.
Scanning grey-blue sky
into grey-blue horizon
on grey-blue ocean
searching for a grey puff of breath
a fluke, sign of a whale amid the grey tipped waves.
Impatiently waiting for grey whales
in the blue-grey ocean
before the blue-grey horizon
under the blue-grey sky.
Waiting for grey whales
makes me

-by Shawn L. Bird


If you ever get a chance to go whale watching, “Do it!”

It is magical, breathtaking, inspiring, thrilling, exciting, moving, overwhelming and impressive.

I love the experience of whale watching and feel blessed to have reminiscent thoughts that will buoy my heart for the rest of my life.

“The Song has Ended, but the Melody Lingers On” by Lisa Bearnson

This is the blog post that my wonderful friend, Lisa Bearnson posted on Monday.  I had the pleasure of spending most of last Thursday and Friday with Lisa and her remarkable family.  It was a time to honor, remember, commemorate and reminisce the life of Bob Downs.  I loved spending time with the family and recounting the beloved memories of this great man.  I took the photographs that Lisa used in her blog post.  I was truly uplifted after this experience.

February 23, 2015

I’ve learned this simple principle more than ever before during this past week.

Even in our darkest moments, there is light!

THANK YOU for all your sweet notes, prayers, flowers, visits, and love! I felt the power of your friendship and have been lifted up in my grief.


The apples in the bottom left bouquet represent my father’s love of gardening and his childhood fruit farm.

Thanks to my dear friend, Pam Taylor, for capturing so many moments during my dad’s visitation and funeral.

First of all, a big shout out to my mom for being such a rock and the best care taker in the world. She was buoyed by so much love and her girls and grandchildren haven’t left her side.



The funeral program was so beautiful filled with lovely music and the spoken word. All of my father’s children, their spouses, and grandchildren sang the closing hymn: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” I swear a heavenly chorus, directed by my dad, was singing along with us. Every grandchild was present except my missionary, Collin.

A dear New Zealand friend, Mandy Blake, knew I’d be feeling this loss so sent flowers via Kerri Bradford from her and my missionary! Ahhh–be still my heart!

It was so tender how all the grandchildren formed a big circle while holding hands around the casket at the cemetery. They then put one hand on the casket–the love was flowing and it was such a tender moment.

Eight of the grandchildren were pallbearers.

There were so many special moments during the services but the military taps, 21-gun salute, bagpiper, sending balloons off, and my dad’s best friend, DeRae Broderick, at our side were just a few



My dad had many favorite things. Here is a representation of just a few of them.


My dad was still singing just two days before he passed away. This quote is so true of him:

“The song had ended but the melody lingers on.” Irving Berlin

Thanks for going on this journey with me. I’m already missing my “Thursdays with Dad,” holding his hand, and eating Arby’s mints. But, this little girls feels so much peace! I know my dad unconditionally loved me. And, that is the best feeling in the world.



It is always difficult to feel the sadness that death stirs up in oneself.  I continually have to remind myself that death is one more step towards our progression here on earth.  I am comforted by the following quote by Thomas S. Monson:

“Every thoughtful person has asked himself the question best phrased by Job of old: ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ Try as we may to put the question out of our thoughts, it always returns. Death comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. But what of an existence beyond death? Is death the end of all? … My brothers and sisters, we know that death is not the end. This truth has been taught by living prophets throughout the ages. It is also found in our holy scriptures.”

Lisa, it was an honor to be with you and your family.  Your father was an amazing man and I know without a doubt that you will meet him again one day. I love you!

Forever Young!

web young at heart project-life


correct Young project-life

We spent a couple of weeks in sunny California with our dear neighbors Bob and Barbara. We had a delightful time together. First we went to Olvera Street where Bob visited many times during his growing up years. We enjoyed eating his favorite food which is the taquitos with a yummy avocado sauce. We went exploring along Olvera Street and soaked in the Mexican history and culture that engulfed us.

The following information was taken from Wikipedia:

“Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, California, USA, and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Many of the Plaza District’s Historic Buildings are on Olvera Street, including the Avila Adobe (1818), the Pelanconi House (1857), and the Sepulveda House (1887). The tree-shaded, pedestrian mall marketplace with craft shops, restaurants and roving troubadours is a popular tourist destination.”

We went to Downtown Disney, California Adventure and Disneyland.  We went to San Diego later in the week and enjoyed our favorite pizza restaurant which is called Basic Pizza.

I love going to sunny California.  The blue sky, beautiful flowers and plants, the warm temperatures, visiting new places, favorite familiar places and restaurants all make me so happy.  I am especially happy when we can spend time with our friends and enjoy each others company.  We had a wonderful time and feel very blessed.


Looking Back to Kauai……

web coastlineDSCF4154web Kauai Na Pali CoastDSCF4031web Kauai dark sky DSCF4007web snorkeling DSCF4370web Na Pali coastlineDSCF4078


We went to Kauai with our dear friends the Pacinis.  We had a fantastic time.  A lot has happened since our trip in September.  Life gets in your way and the best intentions of blogging and focusing on the many photos that I have taken soon are overrun with mundane tasks of each day.

We went on a boat ride that took 3 hours plus along the Na Pali coast of the island of Kauai.  We had all types of weather that day.  We experienced lots of rain, choppy seas, high winds and a only a couple of minutes of sunshine.  The coastline is very rugged and lush green in color.  It was an amazing experience. We went snorkeling on our trip and had a nice lunch as well with fresh island food.

I am thankful for the beautiful world that we live in and that I am able to visit so many places.


Looking Forward To Christmas………

November layout Image-1Thanksgiving was an enjoyable day.  We went to a restaurant for our Thanksgiving luncheon.  We have decided that going out for Thanksgiving at this stage in our lives is awesome!

Our tradition is to go to a movie on Thanksgiving Day.  We went to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014).  We enjoyed it but don’t want to wait for a year for next and final movie to be released.

Mockingjay Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

We are very thankful for our many blessings and love the chance to reflect on them this holiday season.

“……Gratitude for blessings received from God. Expressing gratitude is pleasing to God, and true worship includes thanking him. We should give thanks to the Lord for all things.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord:Ps. 92:1;
Come before his presence with thanksgiving:Ps. 95:1–2;
Be thankful unto him, and bless his name:Ps. 100:1–5;
Cease not to give thanks:Eph. 1:15–16;
Be ye thankful:Col. 3:15;
Blessing, and glory, and thanksgiving, and honor be unto our God:Rev. 7:12;……”

web Thanksgiving

I hope you have a blessed holiday season.


Sunday Musings

This photo was taken in City Creek Canyon.  The stream is in the background and the leaves have turned a stunning lemon-lime, chartreuse color.  The stream was quietly trickling on its own path as we stopped for a few moments to devour the moments of peace which became intensely profound as we lingered.

web_DSC5588.leaves stream

#124 Be Still, My Soul


1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Text: Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697;
trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

As I reflect on the Sabbath Day my thoughts definitely turn to a greater power than myself.

I love to see God’s handiwork in nature.  We live in such a wonderful state with beauty engulfing our being.

I love my family and spending time with them.

Today, I learned that a fellow scrapbooker lost her husband after a  17 month battle with cancer.


Below are a few words from her blog, Teresa Collins

“…..It is with the saddest of hearts that I write this. Last night, November 15th at 8:34 pm my best friend, my husband peacefully passed away after a valiant seventeen month battle with cancer. He fought to the end and did not want to leave me and our kids. He awoke yesterday morning and told me that he was dying today. I knew that he was going home. We were alone and I knew he had accepted God’s will. Our family surrounded him all day and as many of us that could were there to send him HOME. Right now, my heart is broken to say goodbye….”

I am in awe of her tremendous strength and unmovable faith.  I love her willingness to share her emotions and love for her family and the atonement of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  She is an amazing example to all of us.  I pray that Teresa might feel the peace of comfort from those around her and the love of her faith which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Death is not the end. Death is really a beginning—another step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Someday, like everyone else, your physical body will die. But your spirit does not die, it goes to the spirit world, where you will continue to learn and progress and may be with loved ones who have passed on.

Death is a necessary step in your progression, just as your birth was. Sometime after your death, your spirit and your body will be reunited—never to be separated again. This is called resurrection, and it was made possible by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-22).”

More can be found at Mormon Beliefs:

“….Family relationships can last forever—not just for this life.

Just as some of life’s sweetest joys can come through family associations, the loss of a beloved family member can be a source of our deepest sorrows.

Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

Death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in eternity], only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2).

Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. These ordinances seal a husband and wife together for all eternity and children to their parents as an eternal family. (See: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”)…”

I pray that all of us may have a peaceful and still soul and enjoy the everyday miracles that surround us constantly.

web sig City Creek canyon_DSC5442


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