mothers day

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Colleen and Randy

Edward, Colleen and Donald - 1949

Its been such a difficult few days - lots of tears and lots of reminiscing and lots of laughter... Grandma Bea is still struggling with understanding why it happened. Uncle Donald gave her such a beautiful blessing of peace Tuesday evening and though I see it working she is still struggling. Beaver is a wonderful little town - they are simply reeling under the shock and will continue to do so as the funerals continue and those still in the San Diego hospital still fight for their lives. Grandma's memory is so poor - she has now talked herself into the idea that she talked to them just as they were going to go eat shortly before the accident. In actuality she talked to them Sunday evening as they were headed out to eat and the accident happened Monday morning AFTER they went to breakfast as they were on their way to Algadones Mexico. We have told her time and time again that she talked to Colleen Sunday night and she will agree that is correct and then the next time some one calls or comes over she is telling them that she talked to them just barely before the accident. She is going to have this poor town as confused as she is!

But she is loved and people have been pouring in with food all week - at one point she had seven gallons of milk and six dozen eggs in her fridge. We have had wonderful soups and stews and chilis and casseroles and I bet she has six loaves of bread and 3 or 4 pkgs of rolls that people have brought. Plus brownies and cookies and cakes and pies and cobblers!!

Colleen and Randy were supposed to have arrived home tonight. We didn't hear whether or not they actually did. The morticians told their kids this week that the California mortician felt that they could have an open casket funeral - I am praying that they can, otherwise my mind will never get around the fact that they are actually gone.

If I have learned nothing else this week I have learned that I married into to a marvelous family 40 years ago. I love my sister and brothers-in-laws - and I am so thankful for the gospel that brings me the peace to know that I have been sealed to that family for eternity. I love grandma Bea and my heart has torn in two this week as we have all mourned together for Colleen and Randy. I have learned how talking and listening and sharing ones grief helps one to mend.

We will head North tomorrow to go get our truck and trailer and then head South to Beaver again for the viewing and funeral on Sunday and Monday. It is going to be a difficult funeral - because we will miss them for the rest of our mortal lives. We know that we have an eternal bond - we know that we will be able to enjoy our families and their love for eternity thanks to our Brother - Our Lord Jesus Christ and his atonement. Without His sacrifice we would be lost.

My mind is still spinning into neverland right now and I still am having a difficult time expressing all that want to say but I DO have a testimony of my Lord and Savior. I know that he suffered and died for me - I know that I need to strive every day to be a better person than I am right now.

I love you all.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


To all my friends who sent me best wishes in 2007, or promises of good luck if I forwarded something, IT DID NOT WORK. For 2008, could you please just send either money, chocolate or gas vouchers.

Husband Tag

    Okay - I've been tagged - by Kecia. I can't tag anyone new because my kids are the only blogs I read!! But here's the scoop. You do realize I have to dig REALLY deep for some of these answers!! Like - over 40 years worth!!

  • What is his name?Edward Lowe Willden

  • How long have you been together? Married 40 years - we met a little over 41 years ago!!!

  • How long did you date? We dated for almost 8 months. We met on the 17th of January and were married on the 8th of September, mainly so we had the summer to earn enough money to get us started!

  • How old his he? 63

  • Who eats more? Good question - food has never been really important to Ed. He is not a real big eater. However, when it comes to munchies he is the worst.

  • Who said I love you first? He did

  • Who is taller? Him - he used to be six inches taller than me but he claims he has shrunk one inch.

  • Who can sing better? Neither one of us can sing very well. I sing a lot more than he does around the house

  • Who is smarter? Ed is by far the more intelligent.

  • Who does the laundry? I do. When he is out on the road however, he thinks nothing of ironing a shirt.

  • Who pays the bills? He does. has almost our whole married life. Its a macho thing!

  • Who sleeps in the right side? Lying in the bed he's on the right and I can't sleep at all if we reverse this - he can sleep anywhere, anywho!

  • Who mows the lawn? He does - I keep the inside clean the outside is Ed's.

  • Who cooks dinner? Me.

  • Who drives? He ALWAYS drives. That's okay. He drives, I read.

  • Who is more stubborn? Ed - I can get stubborn and really push it but when push comes to shove he can out stubborn me any day!

  • Who kissed who first? He kissed me - at his apartment on our first date. Of course, I met him on Tuesday and we went out everynight together BEFORE our first date on Saturday.

  • Who asked who out first? He asked me out. We met at the College of Southern Utah's 3rd ward MIA dance. Even though he already had a date for the Powder Puff Prom - biggest prom on campus for the whole year, he asked me out anyway!! First night we met! He called the other girl the next day and told her that something had come up and he was going to have to go Home for the weekend instead of taking her to the prom. He was really embarrassed when she showed up with another guy at the dance.

  • Who proposed? He did. In fact he knew the night he met me that I was the girl for him. As he was saying his bedtime prayers that night he received an affirmation that I was THE ONE. It took me a few weeks later to realize what a biggie this guy was gonna be in my life. We chose my ring out of a wholesalers catalog and had to order it in. The day it arrived, he called me and didn't say a word, just clicked the box open and closed in my ear. Then he came over to my apartment and got down on one knee and proposed.

  • Who has more friends? Good question. We are each others very best friends. I would have to say Ed as he travels all over with work and makes friends with co-workers all across the nation.

  • Who is more sensitive? Me.

  • Who has more siblings? We are both one of six children. At this point however, he has more siblings living.

  • Who wears the pants?He does - no question

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Feeling better each day

I commented on Jamie's blog that she needed a new blog - she hasn't put anything new since Monday - of course it is hard to write when you are under stress and she definitely is under STRESS!!

So I decided I better let you all know how I am doing. I feel like I am improving each day but it is still slow and I am so thankful for drugs.

I am mainly taking Ibuprofen 800's with maybe one or two Narco's each day...I can go all night on one Ibuprofen but during the day I am taking them every four hours. I tried the combination of Ibuprofen and Tylenol but it doesn't seem to help any extra so I put the tylenol back in the cupboard.

The recovery is a lot easier than my surgery last April - the pain is alot less - without the pills I am probably at a level 3 or 4 on a 1-10 scale. It really hurts when I try to lean over to put dishes on the bottom level of the dishwasher or take clothes out of the dryer - but with an Ibuprofen in me there is either no pain or only a level 1.

I can sit up for hours at a time without feeling like I have a screwdriver stuck in me just below the rib line like I suffered with the first week. That is a great improvement.

I still am forced to sleep on my back which I hate. I have always been a side sleeper and I love to spoon up to Ed's back when I am going to sleep at night and I managed to lay on my side for almost ten minutes last night and then it started hurting so back on my back I went!!

I go see my surgeon on Monday for follow up. Then I will be able to take a bath again instead of showers!! I love a hot tub to soak in and have to fight with myself every day to keep from filling the tub - but instead of stitches or staples I was stuck back together with glue and it will dissolve in a tub of hot I will be good for now.

I hope to start walking again next week - but Cheryl and I will probably walk at the mall instead of facing the icy walks at the park (she said it was 11 degrees when she walked this morning!!)

I want to recommend having a freezer full of meals that just need to be defrosted!! That has been so nice!! We have had ribs and rice or squash soup or chili beans or spaghetti or white beans and ham, or funeral potatoes with ham slices!! Each afternoon I decide what we are going to have for supper and defrost it. Then I add a salad or bread or veggies and dinner is ready!! And I cooked it all on one day (pre-surgery) and froze it in two people meals - and voila! I have two weeks worth of dinner ready to go!

Last but certainly not least, I want to tell everyone thanks for the love and the care, the phone calls, and the visits, and the thoughts and the prayers and all the good soup!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My insides are prettier than yours!!

Well - its official - I have sparklies inside of me now!!! :-)

This is a picture the doctor took of the inside of me after he had the mesh rolled out and in place!!

I just wish it felt as good as it looks!

Friday, January 18, 2008


was a
I had plenty of visitors yesterday - Kecia came up early in the day to just help - and she did. She was a great nurse and help - and of course she brought Emma to help. Emma just wore herself out entertaining grandma all day - this precious picture was snapped about 6:00 pm - after she had worked hard keeping grandpa Ed and grandma Susan and Aunt Mauri and Aunt Jamie all entertained. She looks so sweet and soft here - which she is.

She also managed to get her outfit changed -from the skin out and her mama's shirt changed too - between pooping and upchukking she keeps life interesting!! Most of the day Emma had a really really stuffy nose and struggled with breathing and was not really happy. Finally, just before Mauri got here, Kecia was able to get enough of the saline drops into her nose to soften the buggers and squegee them out. After that - the smiles and coos and goos just kept coming.

Later on, Shawn and Makae came over to visit too, and also my next door neighbors. Fun and busy day.

I tried too hard yesterday to cut down on the pain meds and really felt it this morning. Ed was going to go back to work today but stayed home an extra day because he was afraid I would have a problem and be all alone. I got back on the medications though and finally felt up to having a nice long shower this afternoon. Doing good.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Well - tomorrow is the day!! I have decided that I would much rather have 20 minutes notice pre-surgery rather than 2 1/2 months. Especially when the doctor tells you it is going to be a very painful recovery!! Words you don't want to hear from a doctor. Today I cleaned my bathroom, washed and changed my sheets, vacuumed the whole upstairs and mopped the kitchen floor. I also went and visited my dad, and Jill and Bruce and Becky!! And I bought a cute pink outfit (jeans and top) a pair of lavender jammies and some infant sized tights for a baby shower that is this Saturday (for Rachel Hatch)!! I have about 16 meals frozen in my freezer and almost 3 gallons of milk and several loaves of bread. I think I am ready to take the next couple of weeks off!!

I finally had Shawn come over on Saturday and give me a priesthood blessing and I feel much better about it all. I am so thankful for these blessings - Not only have saved my life in the past but they have helped me feel peaceful and comfortable about what was happening that is totally out of my control otherwise.

Shawn and Kris and kids all showed up at my house tonight too, with dinner and family home evening lesson, fun game, and dessert. Plus a gorgeous bouquet of flowers - that I think Kristanne arranged for me! And we had a ball tonight!! Kristanne said they figured this way I would be so glad to enjoy the peace and quiet of laying around the house with nothing to do after having her herd here for two hours!! I thoroughly enjoyed them all. They are such a precious crew and everyone of them were on their best (though noisy) behavior. We played a Book of Mormon game and it was us three females plus Ethan against the guys. The guys won but since the winners had to dish up the icecream we gladly let them do it!! I can handle those kind of wins all the time.

I will be so glad to get tomorrow over and done with though. Even though I won't be able to stick my fingers into the hole in my belly any more....amazingly no one else wanted to feel the opening!! Wonder why!

I am stating here and now that since I was in the hospital in 2003 for gall bladder, 2005 for pneumonia, 2007 for partial colon removal, this is my 2009 surgery !!! NO ARGUMENTS ALLOWED!

I have appreciated all your emails and phone calls and visits. Your Dad will probably send you an email tomorrow night telling you all is well - I hope I don't have to stay overnight in the surgical center cause she said they don't have much food - that the families are invited to bring in shakes or soup or such!! If they ain't gonna feed me, I ain't gonna stay!

Pay it Forward

A blogging game...This one involves getting free stuff. Nice huh? I signed on through Kecia's blog. She owes me a handmade gift. The first three people to leave a comment on my blog will receive a handmade gift from me. You most certainly will not get it tomorrow and probably not even next week, but you'll get it! Here's the catch...if you want to get free stuff, you have to pay it forward and make the same promise on your blog. (You must have a blog to participate.) So if you want to get something from me, you have to give to three people. Who's it gonna be?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

University of Utah - Diabetes Clinic

As all of my kids know I just spent Thursday and Friday at the University of Utah hospital. It was year two of a four year study on the neuropathy of diabetics.

When I got there on Thursday morning I was 12 hours into a 12 hour fast so that they could do an A1C which is way to see how well a diabetic is controlling their sugars. My last A1C in july was 5.3 - they like it to be under 7 so the doctors were pleased with my diet and exercise. The A1C tracks the amount of sugar in my blood. This record changes as old red blood cells in your body die and new red blood cells (with fresh hemoglobin) replace them. The amount of A1C in your blood reflects blood sugar control for the past 120 days, or the lifespan of a red blood cell.

They probably took about 3 quarts - oh! I mean 3 vials of blood for various tests. Then they gave me time to empty my suitcase and put my clothes away as I was staying overnight. Over the two day period they ran laser tests on my nerves and heat tests and cold tests and sweat tests and pin prick tests. They also removed small areas of skin on my hip, by my knee and by my ankle which they will study for nerve damage. And last but not least they took pictures of the back of my eyes to check for macular degeneration which is a big worry with diabetics. My eyes looked good they said.

To me the pin prick tests told me the most. When the doctor poked my big toe with the sharp end of a safety pin I couldn't feel it. When he pricked the top of my big toe I could feel the pressure but no prick. When he pricked about two inches about my big toe and about five inches above my big toe it felt like a ball point pen. Finally when he pricked the front of the ankle I felt the 'pain' of a needle prick!! Also on the hot and cold nerve studies on my feet I was at 97% - that meant 97% of the people tested felt more than I did!! I only 3% of the people felt less!

The studies at the University of Utah are to track the increase of neuropathy in extremities of diabetics over a four year period. The main focus is to be able to find tests to pinpoint diabetes BEFORE it does any damage. Hopefully there are other studies going on out there to help AFTER the damage is done but right now the doctor said there is no way to recover what has been lost.

They treat the patients in the study royally with good food and friendly helpful staff. A few of the tests HURT, some of them were uncomfortable and some of them downright interesting. I will go back in a year and let them poke and prod my poor hands and feet some more. All in the interest of science.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Snowed in!!

From all reports of the Weather man we were supposed to get 1 or 2 inches of snow in the valley with this last storm. I agree that the lawns were already several inches deep but this morning I couldn't see my driveway or my cleaned off sidewalk or even the road!! This was supposed to be a nothing storm. Poor pity those who had to drive it it this morning because it is almost 1 pm and there hasn't been a road plow in sight!!

Thank Heavens that today was a get lots of meals in my freezer day and sew my new nightie day!! At present I have chili cooking on top of the stove, I have ribs and sauce cooking in the slow cooker and I have funeral potatoes going in the oven. I also have the makings for a big batch of spagetti. All of this is going into meal sized containers for 2 to feed Ed and I with just the help of a microwave over the next couple of weeks.

I WAS going to go up to my dads and out to see Jill but only if they send a snow plow !!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sad day!! A naked tree

I'm taking my Christmas tree down today and that is always a sad day for me!! Usually it doesn't come down until the 15th or later but since that is the day I am scheduled to have my incisional hernia repaired I figured it needed to come down this week. I love a Christmas tree. I wouldn't mind putting one up and leaving it there all year just changing to ornaments to Valentines Day and then St Patrick's Day and then Easter, etc. I love the soft glow at night when all the other lights are off and I can just enjoy.

As I undecorate it though (as when I set it up), I take a minute to enjoy the ornaments I have. Every time we go someplace new I buy an ornament for my tree!! I have a sailboat and a lighthouse from Portland Head,Connecticut, a gorgeous butterfly and hummel figurine from a little German village on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River where it runs past Cincinnati, An ornament from the Statue of Liberty and a big apple that says Empire State Building, New York. I have a mannequin head in silver brocade and an actor's masque in purple and gold and green from New Orleans. I have an old fashioned Santa that I bought at the Old Post Office in Washington DC. I have a seashell from one of my trips to Hawaii and a wooden nativity cut-out and and a gold metal cut-out that says "the Cradle of Liberty" from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have a Lennox china snowflake from San Marcos that I bought at the factory outlet stores just South of town. I have a blown glass hummingbird and a birdfeeder that reminds me of my mama and several trains that remind me of my dad.

I have a metal Cinderella Castle that Dirk and Da brought me back from their Honeymoon to Walt Disney World. I have ornaments that Ed brought me back from Germany and I have a beautiful glass ball full of sand from the Cayman Islands that Kelly and Jamie brought me from their cruise in November. I have other ornaments that Mauri and Kecia have given me through the years. Mauri gave me some darling glass snowmen that will remind me of our fun mom and daughter dates. I am also crediting Mauri with some cute red metal ornaments that look like a tricycle and a childs rocking chair with adorable bears sitting on or in them. Kecia gave me a cute snowman from California while on her mission. And Kris and Shawn have given me some wooden ornaments with pictures of my grandkids in them. I also have one of Adrie Anna when she was about a year old. Then there are the jewel like ornaments that I think Kris helped Mickey make. And then there is the crystal heart she gave me the year my mother died - with the heart came a beautiful poem that tells me she is waiting for me on the other side - and that she still loves me. I have snowflakes that I saved from my sister Merrilee's ornaments - and little tiny nutcrackers that remind me of my growing up years. I have a counted cross stitch ornament that I myself made about 25 years ago! I have a crystal that hangs on a thin wire and catches the lights as they glow. I THINK I bought it in Arizona but I am not sure. One of my close friends gave me a gingerbread man in a brown paper sack that is sooo cute; Even the pink sparkly [:-)] poinsetta flowers are a memory because they were part of a whole bunch of corsages I made for our Ward Christmas Choir the year I sang in it... and ended up with pneumonia!!

What I am saying, in my wordy over much way is that it is a tree of memories. Each time I look at the different ornaments I am taken back to a place or time in my life where I have happy memories. Ed and I have had a lot of fun traveling to a lot of different places here in the US of A and each of these ornaments reminds me of those different trips. This is just one of the reasons that I love Christmas so very much - and why I hate to take my tree down as the season comes to a close. I gave Kecia my big tree last year and got me a tall thin one that I love (and it doesn't take up so much room), but the tree is getting more crowded each year. I keep thinking that I need to stop buying memories...but I enjoy them so much I just can't.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Grandma Gets to Babysit

Kecia drove up to Layton today (January 2, 2008) to get her hair cut and I got to babysit -

I am sure these aren't the first pictures of Emma in 2008 but they are the first ones I have taken - so enjoy!!

She entertained me for hours and then got to go home to Aunt Jamies house while mom and dad went to the Jazz game!! Wonder how Jamie and Kelly are holding up!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fun Day

Merry Christmas to Mom from Mauri!

Mauri gave me a day out with her for Christmas and we had fun! We went the morning of New Years Eve...we hit the movie theatre first and watched National Treasure - Book of Secrets. Good movie. We both learned something though - DON'T buy the large drinks - 44 0z - we both had to run out a couple of times during the movie to the ladies room!! Bummer!! Trying to figure out a slow time during the movie when we wouldn't miss too much - not fun!!

After the movie we went to Marie Callendar's for lunch. We talked and visited and ate and had a good time. Then we shared a slice of their caramel cheesecake apple pie! YUMM!! Thanks for the fun time Mauri, I love you.