Thursday, September 24, 2009


I've really enjoyed doing my Irish Jigs blog, but I'm wondering if it will come to an end sooner that I originally thought. No, we haven't heard anything yet, I'm just thinking into the future. Anyway, I've thought about turning the Irish Jigs blog into a sort of "travel blog". I'm looking for a title for it and would like some of ya'll's ideas. Here are a few names I've come up with:

Travelin' with Nene
Sight-seeing with Nene
Have Blog Will Travel

I really like using my blog nickname, Nene in the title, so I'm asking you to submit any you can think of. Try to use my nickname, but it is not essential. List as many as you want.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I got this talk by Elder David A. Bednar at a Stake RS training meeting about 2 weeks ago. I just read it today. It is from a CES broadcast to Young Adults. It is an extremely fasinating talk about cyber-communicating, etc. I never knew about some of this stuff. If you have the time to read this, go to this link

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This post is an accumulation of my thoughts. It has nothing to do with any of my chidren, their spouses, my grandchildren, my parents, brothers or sisters, in-laws, nieces or nephews, aunts, uncles or cousins. Nor is it about any of my friends or acquaintences. If you read this and think it is about you, it is purely coincidental. With that in mind, read on...

I've been listening to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. The other day I listened to the part where Harry, Ron and Hermione have decided to go to Hogwarts but apparate into Hogsmeade and almost get caught. Aberforth Dumbledore, who runs the Hogshead pub invites them in and saves their lives. Aberforth and Harry have a conversation about the task that Professor Dumbledore has left Harry:

Harry Potter: "It's...he left me a job."
Aberforth: "Did he now? Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy?
Sort of thing you'd expect an unqualified wizard kid to be
able to do without overstretching themselves?"
Harry Potter: "I-it's not easy, no. But I've got to -"
Aberforth: "Got to? Why got to? He's dead, isn't he? Let it go,
boy, before you follow him! Save yourself!"

I wish I could have found this whole conversation, because I don't have my books with me, but he goes on to tell Harry that he should just "get someone else to do it." I've thought about this conversation for the past couple of days, probably partly due to my own guilt feelings.

When the Stake Music director called me to ask me to play the organ for Stake Conference, I really hesitated. I've never played any organ that didn't have pre-set stops, and as it turned out I had to email a friend in the States to get her to help me with the stops for Stake Conference. It turned out okay, but I realized later what a position I had put the Stake Music Director in. I told her that I would do it and just get my friend to help me with the stops, but I think she still thought I would turn it down when I saw that it didn't have pre-sets. It made me wonder why I couldn't have said, "Of course I'll do it the best that I can." I had asked her if there was anyone else to play but she said no, the regular organist was "on holiday" and I was the only one left. It also made me think of other times when I've tried to hedge out of callings or other things. I justified my actions by thinking and saying that I wasn't qualified and that someone else could do a much better job.

I think the Lord tries to give us opportunites. If we "shirk" our duty (We all have work, let no one shirk*...) and refuse to do it - no matter how we have justified our reason in turning it down - we are the ones who miss out. Do we not think the Lord can find another person who can do it just as well, if not better and easier than us? Maybe this is because we are afraid of making a mistake, or of failing altogether.

Michael Jordan said, "I've missed over 9.000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot...and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

One of my favorite "volunteers" is Donkey in Shrek. I love it when he jumps up and down and says, "Pick me! Pick me!" Have you ever been at church when they ask for someone to say the closing or opening prayer, like in Sunday School class? Not a whole lot of people jump up and say, "Pick me! Pick me!" :0) Doesn't it also seem like the same people volunteer, not only to say the prayer, but to read the quote in class, or be the one to write on the chalkboard?

I don't know if I will ever be one of those people who always volunteer for things, but I do know that this experience has taught me to at least try to be more willing to accept assignements when I'm asked...without whining. And most importantly, to try to accept them with at least a bit of grace. Maybe instead of telling them to pick someone else, I can do what Survival Knife did one time when he was little. I was going to go to the store and my husband asked me if I was going to take any of the kids with me. Survival Knife started running towards me, and pointing at himself said, "Take him! Take him!"

*From the hymn Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We found these pictures on my husband's camera. We took them probably 2 years ago around Christmastime when we had a nice snowstorm. If you'll click on the bottom picture, you will be able to see it bigger, where it shows up lots better.


Just to let you know - I played the organ for Stake Conference this weekend. We had a General Authority - Elder David Bednar. He came to call a new Stake Presidency. Anyway, My organ playing went well. I appreciate my friend Katie in NM for helping me (via email) with the stops. I still need to work on finding some more stops to make it louder. I had both pedals down as far as they would go and still could not get the volume up as much as I wanted. I just need to play with the stops some more. This organ is not like the one I'm used to playing on. Also they say it's piped through the sound system, but it's just not that great. When I first started to play, I realized I was so nervous I was actually holding my breath, so took some slow deep breaths to bring the music back in focus. :0) After the closing prayer, Elder Bednar walked over to one of the ex-Stake Presidency counselors to shake his hands. On his way off the stand, he stopped at the organ to "thank me" for playing. He's a very nice, and humble person.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I've been shopping online for a long raincoat. Last winter I kept wishing mine was longer. I've found this one that I love, especially this purple color:

Unfortunately, this color does not come in my size. :0(
So they have these other three colors that I'm thinking of. Hmmmmm......

Monday, September 7, 2009


When we were home in August, we saw that the developer below us had put in the promised "cross-fences" behind our fence to prevent people from walking along the cliff edge. Our neighborhood hawk was glad to have them put up, because he couldn't sit on our fence like he used to. Now he had a much better seat. I think if you click on the picture it will make it bigger and you can see him better.

He sits there quite often every morning for a long time watching, I think, for his breakfast. One day I had come home from shopping and had been talking to my daughter on my cell phone (using my bluetooth of course). I continued to sit in the car while I talked to her, under the portico (circular covered drive-way). All of a sudden I realized that the hawk was in the pine tree just a few steps in front of me. I wondered what he would do if I got out of the car, so I got out cautiously and carefully walked over to the tree. I stood right in front of the tree "eye-to-eye" looking at him. I could have reached out and touched him, but I didn't. It was cool. He just sat there. I looked at him for a bit and then walked away. As soon as I walked off, he flew away. He is just one of our "critters" we have around our house. We live in a semi-rural area nestled in amongst a neighborhood in our city. Our house sits on a cliff overlooking the city. Here are a few more of our "critters": Quail (many), Rabbits (too many), Roadrunner, Bull snake, Rock squirrel, Owl, lizards, toads, dove and other birds, humingbirds (am I missing any?). We did have a gopher, but our neighbor got the Critter Control guy to come out and poison him. :0+

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I bought this dvd at Target on a sale, and watched half of it when I was in the States. I brought it to Ireland with me and just finished watching it the other day. This has to go into my list of favorite movies. I liked this just as much as Pride and Predjudice. I normally do NOT like Hugh Grant. I don't know why, he just bugs me, but I did like him in this movie. Maybe because he was a bit more humble in this movie. :0)
One very nice surprise of this movie is the number of familiar British stars in it. Besides Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney-Harry Potter) there is also Alan Rickman (Snape-Harry Potter) and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge-Harry Potter) and Hugh Laurie (House). It was fun watching all of these stars in different roles. I especially enjoyed watching Alan Rickman play a gentler, kinder role. :0)


When I was searching on Flickr for a picture of a fairy to put on my Irish Jigs blog, I came across this picture and it cracked me up!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My husband and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. We are in the middle of Two Towers right now. I love both these movies and the books, and every time I watch the movies I get a different perspective. Tolkien was a great writer. You realize this more and more when you watch the movies or read the books.
This time when I was watching The Fellowship of the Ring, I realized that it is not only Frodo that has a great task ahead of him. Frodo has the burden of the ring. He does not want this task, but knows he is the one who has to do it. He willingly volunteers to take the ring to Mordor. As he travels, the burden of the ring gets heavier and heavier and more difficult to bear. He wishes he had never seen the ring, and I'm sure wishes he had never volunteered to take the ring to Mordor. But he does it. He sees what the ring does to other people. Thankfully it does not affect him in the same way.
Another person who has a great task ahead of him is Aragon. He is the heir of the King of Gondor. He does not want this task either, and doesn't even think he is worthy of it. Yet as time goes on, he realizes that he alone is the one who must rise up and take on this task. He does not do this for the glory, but simply because he knows it is he alone that must do it.
A third person who has a great task is Gandalf. When Gimli suggests that they go through the mines of Moria, Gandalf does not want to do it. After they try to go over the mountain and realize that it is impossible, Gandalf still does not want to be the one to make the decision and tells Frodo to decide. Frodo decides to go through Moria, and Gandalf knows what is ahead. He knows, even before he goes into Moria, the monster that is waiting for him there. He knows what it will take to defeat it. Once again, he does not want to do this, but steps up because he knows he is the one who has to.

Even Sam, Merry and Pippin come to terms with something they don't want to do. They really don't want to leave the Shire. They are all always talking about the Shire and the things they miss back there. Sam has sworn to never leave Frodo. He is true to his word to the end. Merry and Pippin rise up to the task every time they take the sword to stand and fight, even as small as they are.
As I watched this movie, thoughts of things in my life that I have not wanted to do came at me from all sides of my imagination. I can think of things that I willingly accepted, even though my feet hesitated, and I can also think of many things I came to a screeching halt at, and refused to do.
For instance: My husband joined my church about a year after we were married. Unfortunately at that time, my feet had done a screeching halt, and we were not active in the church until about 4 or 5 years later. After we were active, I was asked to lead the music in a Relief Society meeting. I did so hesitantly, and after the meeting, the RS President came up to me and told me that they were thinking of calling me to be the chorister for Relief Society, IF I was comfortable doing that. I had been so nervous that day, that was probably the most wrong question to ask me, so right then and there, my feet came to another screeching halt and I told her there was no way I would consider doing it. About 5 or 6 years went by and I was asked to play the piano for Relief Society. My feet tried and tried to stop, but my wise bishop would not let them come to a complete stop, so I accepted, on the condition that I would get the songs a month in advance so I could practice them. During the next few years, I advanced from Relief Society pianist, to Primary Pianist, , I was called as Music Chairman, led the Ward Choir, played for the Ward Choir, moved to another state, served as Ward Organist(I was given keys to the organ, and told to "figure it out"), Choir Pianist, and Choir Director and did those last 3 jobs for about 8-10 years. Now I you see how much more ahead I would have been, had I accepted the very first calling as Relief Society chorister? The Lord knew where I needed to be. He tried as hard as he could to put me right into music, as soon as I was active in the church. I didn't feel qualified. I didn't think I had the right training. But I do see now, that had I accepted that calling, the Lord would have seen to it that I got in touch with the right people who could have helped me learn. With each calling I served in, I learned more and more. My music education was acquired in service to the Lord.
Is any task that we are asked to do too hard for us? Maybe. Maybe at first. But we learn more through our mistakes and resolve to do it better the next time. I can think of many mistakes. Many failures. One time, playing a violin/piano duet, someone put my music on the piano (after I had carefully arranged it) backwards. Since it was hand-written music, the composer hadn't bothered to put page numbers. I didn't realize it had the last 2 pages backwards until I got to the middle of the first line of the second page. I had no idea what was wrong. I just stopped. He stopped. He pointed a line to begin again on, and then while playing that, I realized what had happened, and we were able to play to the end. Maybe I should have stood up and said, "Ta-Da!" :0)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has some great quotes in it, but one quote sticks out in my mind. Frodo is speaking to Gandalf about how he wishes he had not taken the task to take the ring back. Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
No matter what we have done or what we have refused to do, that does not matter. It is in the past. "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." So that is the question: What will we do with the time we have left in this life?