Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise

Many times F & T meeting is uplifting and spiritual. Other times, I would like to crawl under the bench, borrow a trench coat, and sneak out through the back doors. Today was a bench day. A woman, not in our ward, who is mentally ill decided to use the microphone for ten minutes. She talked about the settlers taking the land from the Indians, college experiences with a Native American roommate that may or may not have happened, and complimented her sister-in-law on her outfit. In the spirit of the Native Americans, she favored us with three verses of Go My Son. I will say, however, she did sing on key.

Naturally, the nonmember who frequently visits our ward was in attendance for the entire discourse.

It is always so hard when you get robbed of an uplifting experience at F & T meeting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Gifts

Below is a link to an article entitled "A Good and Perfect Gift" in Apostrophe magazine. One of the speakers at church read parts of the article in connection with a talk on thankfulness. He pointed out that all the gifts we have, we have done nothing to earn. Our gifts are just that: gifts. I thought of my gifted family and realized how blessed I am and how blessed they are. Still, it is easy to think we deserve our gifts and lose sight of the giver of those gifts. When you open the link, the article is on page 8 of the magazine. You click the top right hand corner of the magazine image to turn the pages. Here is the link:

My Personal Trainer

I wonder if other people have the same trouble with their personal trainer that I have with mine. My personal trainer is a chocolate lab mix who accepts no excuses, ever. It can be blizzarding, I can be sick, it can be pouring rain. He doesn't regard any of these circumstances as reasons to forgo a walk. Actually, he runs. I walk. And he wants me to walk for at least an hour.

We woke up to -12F this morning. The personal trainer doesn't care. He wants a walk and he wants it now. He has no respect for the Sabbath and thinks that is no excuse for not walking. If he doesn't get a walk, he pesters, he pants, and he annoys. But at least he doesn't send me a bill every month.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More on the Pilgrims

When we last left the Pilgrims, they were just leaving ship in the New World. According to notes from Frances Jean Jones-Lory, the first winter was NOT walk in the park:

During the first winter in America, the Pilgrims buried half their number leveling their graves and sowing grain over them in the spring in order to conceal their misfortunes from the Indians.

When William Brewster arrived at Plymouth, he was accompanied by his wife, Mary, and two sons, Love and Wrestling. (The Pilgrims purposely chose such names as peace, love, patience, for their children. They wanted to emphasize their separation from the established church which perpetuated the saints of the church calendar in naming children.) The rest of his children came over afterward.

According the above-referenced note-taker’s sources, William Brewster “…possessed that happy attitude of mind which could accustom itself to all circumstances…” Wilbur is a descendent of the Brewster also. I see the resemblance here.

Brewster taught twice every Sunday when the fledgling colony found itself bereft of a minister. He took a prominent part in the affairs of the colony and served in the Indian Wars under Miles Standish. Brewster loved books. Jones –Lory states, “Nearly every ship which came from England brought books to Brewster, and at his death his library inventoried 400 volumes, 62 of which were in Latin. There were 98 commentaries or translations of the Bible.” The acquisition and enjoyment of books is definitely a Robertson trait, although the Robertson men in my past seemed to prefer Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey to the Bible.

I am awestruck by the kind of people our ancestors were. The idea that someone could put me in jail because I don’t want to worship in a mode established by the government is bizarre to me. It is so easy to be complacent about the blessings afforded U.S. citizens in the Bill of Rights. I don’t even want to think about enduring living conditions so deplorable that I could lose half of my friends and family. Since the Pilgrims came to this country for religious reasons, it seems logical that they might have expected God to rescue them from all hardships and trials. I’m sure there were those who became bitter and angry. But it seems like many of our ancestors were so filled with faith they were able to get through and go on, even when things didn’t turn out the way they expected. On this line, we come from good stock.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Pilgrims and Me

I always think about my Robertson ancestors this time of year. Several years ago I was at a dead end on the Robertson line my father’s genealogy. I had always wondered about my great grandfather Robertson’s origins. Because of my mother’s opinion of my father’s family, I was wondering if his family members were hillbillies from the Appalachian Mountains or pirates off the coast of the Carolinas. Near Thanksgiving of 1998, October 26 to be precise, I discovered my great grandfather’s line tied into Mayflower. I found the Robertsons were descendants of William Brewster and Isaac Allerton, both Mayflower passengers. I don’t know much about Isaac Allerton, but I do know a little something William Brewster, who is also Wilbur’s ancestor.

The following are notes I condensed from Frances Jean Jones-Lory:
William Brewster was postmaster for many years in Scrooby, England. Now a Postmaster deals with packages and letters. Three hundred years ago a Postmaster dealt mostly with horses. Letters posted then were mostly governmental correspondence. He was responsible for relays of horses along the post road. Brewster did not live in little house on a side street but had a grand mansion called Scrooby manor. He was appointed by the government and had what was considered a handsome salary 300 years ago.

About 1602 his neighbors to assemble at the manor house for worship and Brewster “…did much good in promoting and furthering religion.” Brewster and his friends organized a branch of Separatists. In the face of persecution, he and his friends chartered a Dutch boat in 1607 to take them to Holland. Through the treachery of the captain, he and his friends were seized and imprisoned. A year later he reached The Hague. At Leyden in 1609 he was chosen to be ruling Elder of the Congregation. Brewster and his family stayed in Holland for 12 years. He supported himself and his family by teaching English. He also was engaged in printing secretly religious books banned by the English government. In 1619 the types of Brewster and his cohorts were seized and he and others involved were arrested. Brewster, however, escaped the same year with Robert Cushman. Cushman obtained a land patent from the Virginia Company.

In 1620 Brewster was selected to sail with the advance guard to the New World. The Pilgrims sailed from Delftshaven in late July of 1620, then from Southampton on the 5th of August and finally from Plymouth on the 6th of September 1620. After a stormy voyage of 10 weeks, they anchored in Plymouth Harbor, November 21, 1620. In the “…cabin of the Mayflower Elder William Brewster drafted the first written constitution in the history of the world –a marvel of clearness, brevity, and strength..”
This is getting long. I want to tell you a little more about William Brewster later. But so far, I am not finding anything to be ashamed about in this line of my Dad’s family. I am only glad they got out of the Old World just as soon as they could.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Voting Day

It's a beautiful fall morning of 44 degrees. I get dressed, have breakfast and then run down to vote at the school where all five of my children spent their elementary years.

I walk in the door and run into Bonnie who is working at the election. Bonnie's youngest child went to school with Petunia and one of her grandsons is the same age as Orville. "Tell me about Heather," I invite.

"She's teaching down in Texas," Bonnie responds. "She just loves her job! We see her about once a year at Christmas. She is active in her church there and seems to be happy. How about Petunia?"

"Petunia and her family live in Outer Slobovia. Petunia's husband works for a firm that manufactures whiz bangs. Petunia spends most of her times chasing her kids around. When she has a minute, she provides professional advice to a hot air balloon delivery service. They seem to like Outer Slobovia. Nice to run into you. Guess I'd better vote."

"Right," says Bonnie. "Could I see some ID?"

Some of the laws that make sense in other places seem absurd here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kids Dressed Up

Here are pictures of this kids in costume. Not all the costumes are Halloween costumes, but they all could have been Halloween costumes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Orville the Kid

I was randomly thinking about Orville the other day and giggling at his antics as a little boy. I remember that he loved the Disney Movie Flight of the Navigator. He thought the line, "See you later, Navigator!" was hysterical.
Orville was the only one of the children that was a biter. As a two-year-old, if something wasn't going his way, lookout! He would bite and then sit there innocently with an expression that said, "What's this all about?I'm just sitting here minding my own business."
He was about five months old when Prudence and Petunia went back to school after summer vacation. He became really fussy every morning when they left for school. I would venture to guess he was wondering where his entertainment committee went.
When we moved into Leisure Village while we built our house, Orville loved it! There were kids everywhere to play with. He thought Laser (as he said) Village rocked. One of the kids there was devastated that Orville had to go with our family when we moved.
Orville's uncle gave us an animated video of some raisins singing a certain kind of music which Orville watched every morning. Later we were at the mall when one of the songs from the video came on. He turned to me and said, "That's raisin music!"
I wouldn't have missed out on having Orville in our family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This week Pippi will have a birthday. Since she likes horses so much, I thought I would share some horse stories. Past members of our family had a lot of dealings with horses. Here are some of the stories I remember:

My Mom was born on a farm near Sugarville, Utah. They had a mare who was a special horse. Mom’s family was forced to sell the farm when the government or some other entity began pumping water out of the ground to drain a swamp or something. Then, the well on the family farm went dry. They sold their mare to the neighbors. Later the neighbors moved too. Years later, some of Mom’s family went back to the farm where the found the mare still living on the abandoned farm.

My Great grandfather Oscar A. Robertson came to Montana in 1864. Believe it or not, at one time in his life he had race horses. Here is the story in my father’s words:
Q. Didn’t you say he [O.A. Robertson] gambled a lot of his money away too?
A. Well, he really wasn’t a gambler. He had race horses. He spent a lot of money on race horses. Now, he really didn’t gamble any money away because from what my Dad [O.D. Robertson] told me anyway, and what George Cooney said (who used to ride for him as a jockey when he was a young fellow), that he never knew him [O.A. Robertson] to lose a race. He bet quite heavily on them. They’d put up a $50,000 purse - winner take all. And instead of running just one race, they’d run heats. And he’d [O.A. Robertson] bet on each heat. Generally, they’d let the opposition win the first heat. And they’d really bet on the second heat. They’d just nip ‘em on the second heat. And on the last heat, they’d whop ‘em good!
George Cooney said he never knew of O.A. Robertson to lose any of those match races , and they put up a $50,000 purse. Of course, they used to have a lot of money. And they spent a lot of money on horses because he sent some of his brood mares back to Kentucky after the railroad came through and had them bred at $5,000 a piece to raise colts. So you know, he had the best there were in those days. He had good blooded stock.

In addition, my Uncle Les owned race horses and spent quite a few years on the race horse circuit. My Uncle Gene also owned race horses.

My grandfather, O.D. Robertson used to break horses so they could be ridden. He said it took two weeks. Once he spent two weeks breaking horses for a man, and the man never paid him. Years later when the man passed away, Grandpa submitted a claim against the estate for his money. He got the money he was owed.

My grandfather had a brand, but I can’t remember what it was. I know it had an R in it. To use it on horses, he had to brand his horses on their jaws. That wasn’t a good place to brand horses, so he used my grandma’s brand, the lazy B K to brand the horses on their hip, which was a better place.

In Grandpa’s [O.D. Robertson] own words:
I took up a ranch and filed a Quit claim Deed. You could prove up in five years, see, but it proved to be on railroad land. After I lived on it for three years, the railroad took it away from me. And then I bought from the railroad company. I run horses there. I had a regular (?) horse ranch. I bought a bunch of horses at an administrative sale and took them down there. Those horses wasn’t worth nothing then. Four dollars a head I paid for them, borrowing money from the Union Bank and Trust Company to buy them with. Then I brought these horses and shipped some of them to Sioux City, Iowa – a hundred head of them; a hundred head of them to St. Louis, Missouri. Got eighty dollars a head for them. Then, I shipped the rest to Canada and sold them up there.
When they had this boom in Alaska, I sold out my ranch there and went to the Dawson City Stampede.

My Mom was very leery of horses. I gather, she'd seen some terrible accidents and deaths that involved horses. I remember both her and my Dad saying, "You never can tell what a horse is going to do."


This year I grew a pumpkin for each of my grandchildren. When are you coming to pick them up?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Stacy's Garden

The garden I planted in memory of Stacy is doing the best it has ever done. Max has only dug it up once this summer. And he only dug up a few white carnations.
Another plus is that the deer don't seem to like the flowers I planted.

Cars that Go Fast

Wilbur knows how to make cars go fast.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Being Charlene

I’ll never forget the “Charlene” argument between Petunia and Prudence. We were living in Jefferson Hills at time. Petunia was probably eight and Prudence was six. Both girls were setting up for a game of imaginary play. But one issue of great moment had to be resolved before the play-story got underway: should Petunia be graced with the play-name of Charlene, or should this honor rest upon Prudence? Both girls discovered that currently they both had Charlene as their favorite name.

Petunia is an oldest sister, a leader, a red personality, and as a eight year old was used to having her own way. She could be unscrupulous in getting her own way too. Prudence never has liked contention and learned the art of compromise at an early age. Although, Prudence will only push so far before she digs here heels in and refuses to budge. Dynamite won’t move her when that happens. I was interested to find out who would get to be Charlene, or if play would completely break down because the question could not be resolved amicably.

Memory is hazy as to who ended up being named Charlene. I think it was Petunia for half the play and then Prudence became another sort of Charlene after a while. But play went on. Evidently, having some play time was more important than winning over the name.

It tickled my funny bone that both girls liked the name Charlene at that age. Sometimes, Kids are so funny about what they like. Did the girls like the name Charlene because we used to watch The Barbara Mandrell Show and one of the three Mandrell sisters was Charlene? What was it about that name that made it seem so pretty? The fascination with the name Charlene wore off years ago. I don’t have any granddaughter so named. I glad about that since I don’t care for the name much. But for a little while, it was fun to watch the girls have a distinct name preference. And it was fun watching them resolve the earth-shaking question of who got to be Charlene.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mom's Influence

Because of my Mom's influence:
1) I always wash my hands after petting the dog.
2) I firmly believe in the value of education.
3) I don't automatically assume that the doctor is right.
4) I like to save money making my own clothes.
5) I value good nutrition.
6) I don't have a subservient bone in my body.
7) I learned to pick my friends on the basis of what kind of people they are, not what religion they are. When I had a church calling serving with a woman from Utah who fussed and fumed about her kid's lack opportunity to make friends with other church members here, I have to admit to a certain amount of disgust. Growing up, I knew kids who were members that I wouldn't want to be friends with and kids who were nonmembers that were great friends. I found that this observation held true for my kids also.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Because of my Dad's influence:

1) I frequently preface my statements with the words, "Actually,...." or, "Well, actually..."

2) I love rocks: all kinds of rocks and fossils too.

3) I sometimes correct Wilbur. For example, Wilbur will say, "Last February 12." I will say,"Actually, it was the 11th of February at 4:27 p.m..." Wilbur will then say, "Thank you, Sid."

4) I always carry matches in my backpack, even for a day hike. This probably saved my life once.
5) Hunting something for its rack or horns just does not compute for me. When you hunt, it's because you need meat. You don't want the meat, you don't hunt. Period. Only a scumbag kills something if he doesn't need the meat.

6) I love to read.
7) I love high school football and basketball.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Line

TV has finally crossed the line. Last night I watched an episode of Psych on USA, a program I enjoy watching for the laughs. In last night's episode a character in the show swore, saying the word “Christ.” I won’t be watching Psych again. Period. I haven’t watched NBC, ABC, or CBS for years. In my youth, during the Cretaceous Period, these were only three networks available. These networks plotted a determined march to the sewer decades ago. Their gradual but steady normalization of casual, perverted sex, crudity, filthy language, blood, and violence left me queasy, so I pulled the plug on the big three networks. Now it seems that USA has joined the lemmings' marching to the latrine.

Every year or two, the networks introduce a few more filthy words and deeds. Apparently, networks can’t introduce too much of their repulsive agenda to their viewers too quickly. Like an offensive odor, the networks’ introduction of the crude,vulgar, and violent starts with a small whiff. As the viewing public becomes accustomed to the stink, the entertainment industry imperceptibly adds more and more filth to its programs. The stench increases so gradually that many people don’t realized how disgusting it has become. In the past couple of years, USA introduced “ass” to the mainstream viewer. I guess using the Savior’s title as a curse is this year’s step further into the septic tank. I predict the f-bomb will be introduced within the next couple of years and Heaven, or maybe Hell, only knows where TV will go from there. I won’t know because I won’t be watching.

I see clearly what the entertainment industry is doing. What puzzles me is WHY it does it. I’m fairly certain there is no positive correlation between how crude, crass, violent and disgusting a program is and its rating. WHY is the entertainment industry so determined to pursue its repulsive course? Here are two of my thoughts on the reasons:

1) The entertainment industry is so full of filthy acting scumbags and low-lifes that it believes it is portraying the ordinary world.

2) The industry wants to sink the nation to its level. I’ve noticed slime-balls feel much more justified in their behavior the more they can get others to participate in the behavior too.


Most people in this country are relatively decent. I know this fact is disappointing for you, and you are working on changing it. If you succeed, the results will not be as fortuitous for you as you think. Have fun swimming in the cess pool. See where it gets you and your families. I’m grabbing some good old homemade soap, a clean towel that was dried in the sun on my clothesline, and hitting the showers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I couldn't resist telling this story that my friend Eloise shared with me. A few weeks ago Eloise went to the wedding of her husband's relative. The bride and groom had been shacking up for a while and then decided to get married.

The wedding was supposed to begin at 7:00 p.m., but by 7:30 the guests were still waiting. The flowers, which had been ordered the morning of the wedding, had not yet arrived.

The mother of the groom put the time everyone spent waiting to good use though. She had a hurried and whispered conference with each member of her side of the family adjuring them NOT to eat any of the wedding cake because the woman who made it lived in a filthy house with over 20 animals.

The cake wasn't too appetizing anyway because it had been made the morning of the wedding. Like the florist, the baker must have got her order at the last minute. The cake was supposed a be an ornate one with multiple tiers. But the cake maker had not frozen the cake for the decorating job. So the frosting was smeared all over the cake and littered with cake crumbs. Their were little blobs all over the cake that were supposed to be flowers.

Since the wedding started late, it ended late. It was raining and the sun was setting. The bride and groom wanted pictures. Guests were hungry and freezing in the dark and the rain. Every so often, the guests went into the building to warm up. Most of the guests left before the reception started.

The next morning Eloise got word that the groom was furious with his family for not staying to help with the clean-up after the reception. The groom's mother asked him, "Did you ask anyone to help you clean up?" "Well, no." he replied, "I just thought they would!"

Don't you want to be a mouse in a corner to see what their first Thanksgiving Dinner is like?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vacation in Hermione's backyard

Cedar Forest

It felt like a cathedral.

Kootenai Falls
No swimming but the water was the most beautiful blue-green color and the falls were breath taking.

Libby Dam

We had fun! We went sightseeing to the Libby Dam, Kootenai Falls, and Ross Creek Cedars. We walked across a swinging bridge across the raging river. We went hiking two and a half miles up hill around fourteen switchbacks to a mountain lake where I attempted to catch a fish. (Try using a fly rod with a 15 mile an hour wind blowing toward you and see how far you get.) We ate out and we biked across two bridges to a fabulous city park along a huge river. Kristy's town knows how to construct a park!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


With the start of the NFL pre-season games, I started reminiscing about a big silver popcorn bowl, and an old, beat up blanket on the living room floor. It occurred to me as I thought about the popcorn parties, that we inadvertently trained our kids to like sports. Wilbur would come home from a day at work. He would take a hot bath because he was out in the cold weather all day long “playing in the mud,” in his words. Then, he would pop the popcorn. I would tell the kids to spread out a blanket. The reason for the blanket was to protect the living room carpet. I don’t know if the blanket really did offer protection, but it made me feel better about chowing down popcorn in the living room. In the fall we would watch the Pittsburg Steelers playing the Dallas cowboys or whoever else was playing that week. Or after November, the Lakers would be playing the Celtics while we all crammed popcorn into our mouths. That popcorn must have sent the subliminal message to the kids that sports were gooooood.

Football and basketball were our sports of choice. We never watched baseball: partly because, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, baseball is twenty minutes of action stretched over four hours, and partly because the baseball season is in the summer. Popcorn popping in the summer was rare. When the kids were young, Wilbur’s summmer hours were from “can see to can’t see.” He wasn’t around very often to pop popcorn, and he doesn’t seem to like baseball as much as basketball and football. For the rest of the family, the cool evening was a great time to lounge outside on the patio or read a book out loud that we checked out of the library.

With the first NFL game, though, the popcorn popper would start. I would have liked to post some pictures of the family crowded around the popcorn bowl. It's funny how we didn't always take pictures of the normal, everyday thingas we did. Popcorn popping and eating on a game night happened often and was delicious.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Glacier Without All the People

We went camping this week to an absolutely beautiful place. I would tell you where, but I swore an oath of secrecy. It was like Glacier Park without all the people. I was sick that neither of my cameras were working, but a friend took some pictures. Being in the middle of such incredible beauty does something for the soul.

We were annoyed by rain but had some beautiful weather too. Wilbur and I tried a hike we saw on the map. The area was so lush and green and had so much grass that Wilbur's eyes were streaming and his nose stuffed up alarmingly. We had to turn back before an emergency situation developed. We are thinking about coming back some September when the grass seed has settled down.


I would blog about the family gathering together in July, but there is too much to say. Floating the river was the activity that I enjoyed the most. Seeing everyone was AWESOME!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

July 3rd Hike

Wilbur expresses his enthusiasm about hiking

The destination

Looking east from the top of the park.

Exotic mushroom species found along the wayA resting place at the park

This bridge ain't big enough for the two of us

Albino shootingstars

The Elkhorn is closer than you think