Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Christmas In Heaven...

David left in Sept. as you all know
I was surely not ready to let him go.
He had to go 'cause he was old
And that's God's plan, as we've been told.
At age 93, he'd had a good life
But he sure didn't want to leave his wife.

If a death could be perfect, then David's was
He just slipped away with no obvious cause.
He'd seen all his kin in the last week or two
But to see them together, just woudn't do.
To his room they all went, one or two at a time
They visited and talked, (just can't make this rhyme)

For a week, he'd' been talking 'bout traveling on
But I just never thought that so soon he'd be gone.
He wanted to talk about things and such
But to talk about death was a little much.
So I wrote him a note just two days before,
I told him my love went right to the core.

I said if his time should come before mine,
He should just go in peace and that I would be fine.
"We have good kids who will take care of me,
So don't you fret, and don't you worry!
When Father is ready he'll call you back home,
Where you'll be safe and sound, no more to roam."

He felt funny and different, he said that day
But I took him out for a drive anyway.
He wanted to spend some time just with me
His legs were painful below the knee.
To the farm we went on that sunny day,
Saw horses and cows and then some hay.

A ride in the country was David's delight
He'd go any time without a fight.
I drove the car at a very slow pace
It wasn't as if we were running a race.
Driving home very slow, we laughed and we cried,
and when we got home, he just up and died.

There wasn't a struggle, there wasn't a pain,
With a smile on his face, leaning onto his cane.
Holding on to me, holding onto the door,
He just slowly went down and laid on the floor.
He didn't suffer at all, for which we give thanks,
He was anxious to go join the Heavenly ranks.

When the ambulance came, there was no sign of life.
He'd gone past the veil, leaving friend, love and wife.
We'd been a great team for thirty-four years,
So that when he left, I shed many tears.
But because of our covenants, I know that we'll be
Together forever through Eternity.

What a reunion in Heaven he must have had,
There was Marge, Lucy, Ann, and then his Dad.
To say nothing of his Mother, "Auntie Mame"
Who was known the town over for "Nephi" fame.
Now they all work together, some souls to save,
They'd all been waiting for their dear Dave.

In this very special month, David's no longer here,
He's now with our Saviour, whose birth we revere.
May this knowledge give us assurance and peace,
So that much of our mourning will certainly cease.
By God's own voice and God's own word,
Our loved ones are now in the arms of our Lord.

Written by my mom (Lois Peterson H. Salisbury)

The New Headstone...
I think it's beautiful.

But to be perfectly honest, the other side of it freaks me out a little bit... I mean, wouldn't it you?

And I SO want to change the "my" to "our"... But I guess it's already "cemented in stone"... And being joined at the hip as they were... I guess that "my" sort of makes complete sense anyway.

Oh, haha I just realized that that is a scripture quote... Ok then, well, alrighty, um, nevermind...

Seriously, Mom... David... thank you so much for this wonderful legacy! It's absolutely perfect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Stolen Life

A Memoir...

At age 29...

I'm not exactly sure why I'm sharing this here, except that since I read this book, this girl has completely and utterly touched me and completely changed my faith in human resiliance. Not only with her story, because it was horrible... and certainly not always easy to read. I'm sure it must have been even considerably harder for her to write. And I'm not even recommending her book unless you really like true reality kind of stuff... and yet, on second thought, this wasn't true reality kind of stuff so much anyway... really. True nightmare stuff is more like it.

And so why did I read it? Because I am a complete sucker for survivor stories and happy endings... And because I sort of knew how it was going to end to begin with... And also maybe because as a mom and a grandma I think that losing a child would be a heartbreak so huge that it would certainly never, ever mend.

I'll never forget the day Whitney called me and told me that Elizabeth Smart had been found! And of course, though I didn't even know her, I still remember that day as being one of the best of my life. Seriously.

So anyway, this is the story of a girl who was abducted at age of only 11 and spent the next 18 years being held captive in a tent in her abductors backyard. She was finally rescued at the age of 29 along with her two daughters (who were also born and raised in that tent and yet somehow she still managed to raise to be healthy and well adjusted teenagers)...

I remember hearing of their rescue.. but could only imagine what all those years must have done to her...them. I was seriously imagining a much different outcome.

And so I guess this is where all that survivor love kicks in....

Because she is amazing! And due to this I don't think that anyone one should ever again be allowed to blame who they are today on any of their past circumstances. I especially love how she gives credit to all those years of lacking sunshine for the perfect skin she has today...

Her story was horrific and heatbreaking, yet at the same time sweet, inspiring and triumphant!

Anyway, if you want to watch the Diane Sawyer interviews, I warn you they're pretty long, but totally worth it. Though, trust me, you won't be able to fast forward through the commercials...

Diane Sawyer Interview Part One

Diane Sawyer Interview Part Two

What can I say? I tend to read a lot...

Monday, December 26, 2011

It Was An Almost Perfect Christmas...

My Christmas Tree...

Thanks Mom, Whitney, Aaron, Jade, Everest, Calder, Daryn, Jon, Rachel, Thom, Cheryl, Mike, Renee and anonymous!...

It really WAS a perfect day!

I am SO truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends in my life!

And miraculously, my really old camera was still somehow able to rise to the occasion as well!... So bonus!

But next year? Well, it's gonna be Frequent Flyer miles for sure.... yeppers.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Memories...

Today I was thinking about some of my Christmas memories and how very much they have changed over the years...

For most of my childhood, each and every Christmas arrived pretty much on schedule like a cookie cutter version of the last one. I always knew exactly what to depend on and what to expect...

  • Laying under the tree on Christmas eve, my head resting amongst the packages and staring up through the branches at those beautiful frosted lights above, pine needles falling in my face. It was magical.

  • Trying to get to sleep at night but never succeeding, not realizing that my mom who would stay up all night wrapping presents would probably have given anything to be in my place.

  • Never understanding how, even though I hadn't slept a wink all night, there was always that pajama and slippers present lying on the floor next to my bed the next morning. Again, like magic.

  • That really sick feeling I would always have in my stomach while waiting to go into the living room and my sisters and I all being allowed to open just one additional present our rooms in order to give mom time to put on all the finishing touches.

  • Finally being allowed to open the door and the next hour of saying "Oh my goodness, Oh my GOODNESS!" over and over again at all the many treasures I would discover.

  • Opening presents until 2:00 in the afternoon...

  • Choosing my own corner of the room in which to pile my loot...

  • Seperating the wrapping paper from the ribbons/tags/boxes/etc and putting them each in their appropriate recyclable place...

  • A dining room table covered end to end with goodies... jelly fruit, chocolate covered cherries, nuts of every kind... See's Candy!

Fast forward to Christmas's many years later...

Pretty much exactly the same scenario with the added traditions of "The Nutcracker"... Amy Grant and Slim Jims... and that this time I was the mom and the one staying up all night wrapping presents... plus I've always been a little less stringent about ripping the wrapping paper....

Anyway, I just really miss all of that for some reason, even while sometimes majorly questioning it...

But now with my kids both on their own and celebrating with their own families (in, thankfully, much more moderate ways!) even with the small gifts being shipped back and forth I realize how truly unimportant the gifts really are and probably ever were! Because looking back, when I squeeze my eyes shut and really try to selectively choose my best Christmas memories, they always come back to the images of just being together with my family. Most of the other gifts have unfortunately long since been sent off to Goodwill or D.I.... and some, even more unfortunately, to the trash.

I would, one year, like to spend a Christmas with just my family and without any presents at all. I think...

I Photoshopped that earlier today but after writing this I think I've had a major change of heart. Because afterall, Skype is a miraculous and perfectly FREE and selfless gift that somebody somehow gave to us! But I'm just not exactly sure who... Mike maybe?

At any rate, I think I just really need to start all over again from scratch on this Christmas thing...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Better Late Than Never... eh, Ray?

I've been such a slacker on this thing lately. Didn't even manage to give thanks on Thanksgiving for all the many, many things I'm grateful for... and there's a bunch! But here's one for starts...

For Rachel... exactly 45 days late! I thought about saving it for Christmas but just couldn't wait....

Love you!!!

Grammy J

Friday, November 11, 2011


Very weird...

So I don't really have too much else to say about today, except that it seems like it would be a really fun day to be born on...

But not to waste a completely good blog on a half dozen "1's" so I guess I'll try and say something else.

Ok, well it snowed last night for the first time this season. And there was major ice on my windshield driving home after attending the 2nd annual "Auction to Benefit Project SEARCH."

My feet hurt like heck afterwards but it was a great evening. I got outbid on everything I bid on (which was probably a good thing) and was stuffed to the brim with all the yummy food. I'm anxious to see what funds were raised! It was the culmination of about nine months of "teamwork!"

As for my yard? Well, Mother Nature does not always cooperate with us here in West Michigan...

This was taken last week, and it's been raining/snowing/freezing ever since...

Gosh, I wish it STILL looked that good...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Though I'm not really sure I'm even that fond of the holiday!

Perhaps it's because of remembering being sick on this day all throughout my childhood, and once I became a mom having to stay up until the crack of dawn the night before trying to finish costumes... And now that I'm an empty nester being forced to sit in my basement all night with the lights off...

Yeah I know... Bah HallowHumBug, right?

But at least it's one night out of the year that gives me no other choice than to do my laundry...

Hope you have a good one!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This just in! And my Halloween spirit is suddenly back!

And then there was Batman and Superman...

So I'm pretty much just left with nothing but schmoopie now.

Friday, October 28, 2011

And Now Jadie is Four!

Out of 365 days, how did I end up with two granddaughters whose birthdays are a day apart... and just days before Halloween? I'm pretty sure they'll be completely sick of scary pumpkin and spiderweb cupcakes before they're twelve.

Trust me...

But today is the day to honor MISS JADE and that wonderful early morning that she came into the world!

Whitney had called me from the hospital really late at night, so I knew it was inevitable, but I still didn't have any trouble sleeping. Because what could I do from 2,000 miles away anyway? Childbirth is so much easier when you're the grandma! But don't get me wrong, I still had wonderful, smiling dreams that night about my soon to be born, toe-headed blond, first granddaughter.

And then Aaron called me right before the crack of dawn to announce that Jade was here!... and that she had the thickest crop of black hair he'd ever seen.

And I'd simply LOVE to be able to share a picture of that adorable thick head of black hair right here and now, but I've been given the error message "Image cannot be uploaded due to an internal error" for about 4 hours now!

Don't you just love it when technology is on your side?... And on your granddaughter's birthday yet!!!!

Anyway, please trust me. She was beautiful then... but she's even MORE beautiful now! With an unruly crop of lightish brown hair!

Happy Birthday Jadie!!!

I love you!

Grandma Jannet



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


One day old...


Four years old!..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Miss Rachel!...

My sweet little granddaugther Rachel turned ONE today. And so how can that be?

Can you slow it down just a little bit Ray?

Not that I don't want you to learn to walk and talk and read on schedule or anything like that, but it would just be really great to be able to be there the first time you do SOMETHING... anything. Perhaps it'll be your first dance recital? Or maybe the first time you discover the joys of Sushi...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it!

I just miss my big girl!

A Letter to Rachel (Written a couple of weeks ago)

Happy Birthday Rachel! I can't believe you're a year old already!

I remember when your mom and dad found out they were going to have you and I was so happy to hear that I was going to have another sweet granddaughter. And then I was especially excited to see your very first pictures that the doctor took when you were still in your mommy's tummy. I think it's amazing how they can do that these days. And well you just had the most perfect little head and feet and I just knew that you were going to be a beautiful baby. And were you ever! When I saw that first picture of you in your bassinet after you were born, I told everyone that I'd never seen a newborn that looked more alert and well... just any more perfect.

I live so far away right now, but I've still gotten the chance to hold you and rock you and play with you and see you grow three different times already since you were born. So that's good! The first time when you were 3 weeks old, and then twice again when you were 6 months and 10 months. I'm hoping that I'm able to continue doing that as you grow up so that I can experience all your little first things, even if I don't get to see you do all those things the very first time. I hear that you just took your first steps the other day, and I'm so very sad that I wasn't there to see it. But I know I will smile SO big the first time I hear you say Grandma!

You are such a precious little girl and I look forward to watching you grow and seeing all of your accomplishments. You have a long and wonderful life ahead of you and I know that you will live it well... and that you will be a wonderful daughter to your mom and dad and make them proud. I'm so proud of you already!

I think the best thing your mom ever sent me was a video of you laughing. I watched it over and over again and couldn't stop smiling. It just made my whole day, that day! Make sure mom saves that one for you forever and ever, ok?

This is getting too long, so I'll just say that I can't wait to see your beautiful little face again and to give you a big hug and kiss! I hope I'll be able to move out closer to you soon!

Love you Rachel! Hope you have a wonderful 1st Birthday! Tell your mom and dad to take lots and lots of pics of you eating your delicious 1st birthday cake!

Rachel eating her delicious 1st birthday cake...

Thanks mom and dad!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Say "Cheeze" Boyz...

But American, Swiss, Jack or Cheddar? That is the question.

Note the little slice of "cheeze" in Jade's hand at the very end!... lol

So I think I'm gonna have to go with Cheddar...

I don't know about you, but in my opinion that was WAY too much cuteness to even contain!

Thank you Jade!.. And Boyz!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Two Guesses Who This Is...

Hint: We're not related.

Sorry, but I just found it... and don't have a folder to stick him in anymore. So I had to stick him somewhere...

Watch for him on Celebrity Apprentice some time in 2012. Not sure when exactly. See how out of the loop I am?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time To Lighten The Mood I Think...

Or at least temporarily...

Do I work in a fun place, or what?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why?... Because I Can. And also because I had a three day weekend...

My only regret is that I have way too many pictures/videos and not nearly enough music...

For the kids. And nothing more...

Ok, well maybe just a little bit more.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Video...but still super Awesome...

I don't usually post these sorts of things. Especially YouTube things that I think could be taken down at a moments notice, of which, I think this one qualifies as one that probably will be taken down pretty soon. But I'll take my chances.

I'm feeling really old right now, but as I watched this one I suddenly felt really young again. And it reminded me of particular time in my life. In fact I think I must have sung this song over and over to myself alone in my room once... except with different words, because of course this song was still years and years away from being written or covered yet...

And then I stopped singing altogether for a very, very long time. But when I heard this one my ears perked up and it seriously moved me... but then realized that I'd probably just rather prefer to refrain from all of that deja vu for the time being anyway...

So I'm just really enjoying the song for now. The vocals are awesome and they have me in tears. And you can download it HERE for only 99 cents!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It Was Time...

I know... crazy.

Because it's been 8 years already... living like this.

But I have so many other things right now that are just itching to occupy my bookshelves. Pictures of grandbabies for one... and some cats. Along with all those many books which have been waiting patiently in boxes on the floor, forever, having had nowhere else to go all these years. So yes, it was time...

But still, in all honesty, I had a blast. Best time ever! And I know that I must have really, really adored him.

Because, I mean, well, I even had A BLOG about him once.

Not quite sure what I'm gonna do with all this stuff now though.

Thank goodness for Tupperware, I guess.

What follows is probably not for the weak of stomach...

Direct Link to Album with more elaborate eBay descriptions...

Just kidding...


I swear that was NOT easy!

In fact it took me ALL weekend...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Papa's Passing...

The first time I saw Papa he was sitting at a picnic table with a friend outside of a hitching post/food stand in Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts. I'd joined my mom for a couple of days on her LDS Church History tour which she'd decided to go on alone as a 46 year old and recently single woman. The tour had passed through NYC, where I was living at the time, so it only made sense for me to go along and be able to spend a couple of days with her.

Anyway, I remember approaching that picnic table with her that day and suddenly seeing this big smile appear on his face. Of course, at this point you have to remember that I didn't know him from Adam, but still somehow sensed that this probably wasn't a case of love at first site for ME on his part. And since they'd been traveling on the same bus together for a couple of days already, and because I was at the very astute age of 19, I was pretty much able to immediately surmise that that smile was most likely for her.

It was July and freakin' hot and what else I mostly remember about that moment were the bees buzzing around in the trash barrel right next to the patio deck. There was a paper basket full of french fry remnants still smothered in ketchup in it and several half full cans of coke along with whoever knows what, and the bees were buzzing wildly. So I decided to move away. I can't remember exactly how long it was before mom finally decided to come over and join me, but I do remember it was a really long time. Sheesh, what a floozie!

Of course Mom doesn't remember any of this...


I would never be a great historian because I pretty much just always "guess" at dates and timelines so I'm just gonna go ahead and leave any dates and timelines out of this...

But in a nutshell, what eventually came of that tour, and what I'd like to believe was due to that little meeting at the picnic bench, was this:

* A beautiful marriage of 35 years! (I remember when hitting the 25 year mark how they joked about having been married for 50!... even if it hadn't exactly been to each other...) And two people's lives which suddenly became the ONE they were meant to live and with the person they were meant to love.

I just like that picture so much because it encompasses everything that a hundred more pictures ever could.

But still, here's just a couple more anyway...

Thank you so much David, not only being my children's Papa, but for being mine too. You've been the most wonderful dad and grandpa that any child or grandchild could have ever hoped to have. And I'm not even gonna start with the huge lists of all the reasons I say that... because I'm hoping you know them them just as well as we do, and truly hope that you've known them all along.

Love you!

Papa passed at the age of 93 on September 8th 2011, last Thursday following a beautiful afternoon drive with mom. But he was just ready. And when he passed he went peacefully and perfectly... as difficult as it was for the rest of us to let him go.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Matter Of Terribly Crappy Customer Service ~ an anagram...


It all started after those really fierce storms we had the beginning of August. And I lost cable. Or at least I thought I did. But when I called Comcast two days later they swore there had been no outage in my area... so it must be my computer.

Well a few days later, figuring that my Ethernet port had just been fried I called the Geek Squad who happily took on the assignment of setting me up with WiFi for a mere 102 bucks. And it worked just fine for a couple of days...

But then Geek Squad agent #2 came out and swore that my new outage had nothing to do with my computer and it must be my cable. Which Comcast then finally confirmed...

So as of August 13th I've been up and running thanks to a Comcast repair man who came over and put a temporary patch on my line and ordered a completely new one to be buried. Miss Dig came by the very next day! Wow, what super fast service!!! That was 3 weeks ago...

Since then I've been to Utah and back, mowed and weed-wacked around those flags three whole times and called Comcast more times than you could shake one of those flags at. Each time, my work order has been "escalated" with a promise of a call back within 48 hours. Meanwhile, it's now Labor Day weekend and I have to keep apologizing to my neighbors who also have to keep carefully mowing and weed-wacking...

Now I know those pictures probably aren't that seriously impressive. They'd probably be more so if I'd had the presence of mind to take some "before" pictures... Because then I'm pretty sure you'd be really, really impressed! (As if you're not already impressed enough at the time I spend mowing my lawn as it is...)

I wonder what Comcast would do if I just decided to not pay my bill. I'm pretty sure they'd just report me as a bad credit risk and cut my service. But if this irresponsiveness on their part lasts for much longer, what recourse does someone like me have? I guess I could always just smash my box!... And then where would I be? Not writing this blog dissing Comast, thats for sure. Sometimes consumerism sucks.

And just for the record... I didn't do this to my box.

Though I did try to put back as best I could the parts that I found just laying on my lawn 3 weeks ago...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fastest Fly By Summer Ever!...

Well, they seem to be quickly wrapping up all the road work around here that has caused major detours to my routes all summer, but school buses have a quickly ensuing and important function I guess. It seems like just yesterday I was crossing my own school's campus, slipping and sliding in all my winter gear. Yep, summer has just flown by! But pausing in my sadness to raise a glass half full to that thought... I'm done. I'm really, really done! No more Septembers for me!... or at least in the back to school sense of the word. And now I'll be able to focus even more dilegently on the upcoming leaf raking...

I remember (back in the day) when summers seemed to present such an endless stretch of possibilities. Sometimes I sure wish I could be young again. Except minus all the stupidity. The funny thing is that I think we sometimes only appreciate the past once we are finally past it. So I really tried to totally appreciate the few days (and thus my essential "summer") that I was able to spend with my wonderful family out in Utah last week and I think I succeeded. I love them! I had such a great time. Visiting with both the very young and the very old of my clan... gave me such a new appreciation for the circle of life and the old adage "For every time there is a season..."

*Raises a very wistful glass to Seasons!*... of which yet another one is about to expire...

A couple of pics...



Four Generations

With Papa

And here's my Summer 2011 Album: Though I was only able to be there for a very brief part of it. Still, technology is awesome!

Direct Link to Summer 2011 Album

Direct Link to my PhotoBucket and All Albums

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Finally... Fini!

I know, it's a little crazy that I made such a big deal about graduating last April. I knew I still had one more class to take but it was still pretty cool. Little did I know that this last class would be so hard and encompass every waking moment of most of my summer.

But I done! Fini! And driving home from class last Wednesday night it actually crossed my mind that I might not ever have to drive in the dark again. Or go downtown, unless it's for something fun! It's been 10 years of spending a good deal of evenings at school after working all day. Not sure how I did it. It was really tough! But like my mom always use to say... um, hmmm... I must have blocked it out. But I think it had something to do with the impossible just taking a little bit longer. I don't even remember when I got to the point of believing I'd ever be done!

Anyway... Here are my projects from my last class. You can click on them to enlarge, but after that hit your back button to come back. I just don't have the energy to create "open in a new window" codes right now...

An Ad Campaign for a Fruit. I chose the raspberry...

A Public Service Announcement Series for "Hand Washing"...

A Mock Website for a Sheet Music Company...

Home Page

Home Page Dropdown

Browse All

Browse Dropdown

Broadway Page

Broadway Dropdown

Order Sheet Music

An Ad Campaign for a New Organic Vegetable Drink (Natural Gas)...

The Billboard

Marketing Giveaway

An InfoGraphic for Light Pollution...

Trust me... they took a lot longer to do than it just took to navigate through them.


And... YIPPEE!

My portfolio can be seen in my FaceBook photos.