Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sinuses, A "Gone" Issue (Issue? Get it? --Snicker)

Let's hope I've enjoyed my final sinus headache, my last blast of Nasonex and my last sinus irrigation.  Today I went under the Skill Drill (stainless steel, I presume) at 9:15 A.M.)

Online reading has yielded the fact that not only will breathing be easier (Rex said after his surgery, he experienced hyperventilation since he'd developed mighty lungs to force air through his pin-prick air holes), I'll have enhanced sense of smell and taste, so don't be surprise to see me prancing through the flowers, sniffing with wild abandon and savoring every bite of food.  This might, however, bring the hot sauce to a halt.  We'll see.

The surgery is only about an hour-and-a-half, out-patiient and will cause no bruising.  The doctor said so.

The only thing I'll require is extra pillows so I don't DRAIN into my lungs (lovely) and I'll need a little humidifier.

When I announced to the "girls", PHS class of 1960 that I was getting my nose "done" they couldn't imagine why, since it's all ready quite lovely,  until I mentioned the sinus situation, then they immediately changed the subject and Suzie pointed out that your nose is as long as your thumb.  Mine isn't unless you mean to your first knuckle.  

Made you check!  Also made you forget my nose.  See?

Monday, April 26, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around

Years ago, Stormy Williams was my cute little seminary student at Brighton High School.  Now she's Stormy Williams Goeckeritz,  wife of Bryan Goeckeritz and mother of Kira, Christian, Brooklyn and Tanner Goeckeritz and friend to Ben, Brad, Julia, Sophia, Alison and of course Carl  Aukschun.

Then we had an exclusive  relationship, she and I.  I remember the high point of that time was when I would scream the song "Stormy" to her, though she may at the time have pretended she never heard of it.  It might be surprising to many that she even speaks to me to this day, but she does.  

Now things have widened up.  Brad and Bryan both work for UPS, Ali and Sophia are regulars with the Goeckeritz kids at Classic Fun Center, and Stormy and Ben are Facebook Friends and text pals from Phoenix to Salt Lake.  Who would have thunk it? Serendipity.  

And yesterday the whole Goeckeritz clan was at my house for Sunday dinner.  It was wonderful.  

If two groups were better suited, I don't know who it is.  The kids mesh well, so do the adults and the places we hang out seem perfect for everyone.  I think I'll adopt them all.  

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Bad, Bad Hair Day Winner

Remember Ali's Bad Hair Day of a few weeks ago?  Here's an entry to make you contemplate the secrets of eternity and the complexities of the potential of years and years of psychoanalysis.  It was her mother's first attempt at curling her hair, documented for all posterity to see.  Hold the laughs please, out of kindness and sincere regard for the love of everything that requires compassion.

But this little chica, Sami, is tough.  She belongs to my nephew and niece, Rhead and Annie Pao Cannon.  My favorite Sami quote about karate lessons:  She bragged about how good she was at karate and her brother commented how she was half Chinese.  She responded, "I'm ALL Chinese."  Nothing halfway about her.

I'm sure she's all ready on to the next challenge.  In fact, I know that she has gone on to cure the common cold, brought the world the peace it deserves or at least has driven her brother crazier than anyone deserves to be.

And all the while making you want to kiss her silly on those cute chubby cheeks and those yummy, yummy lips.  Thank you, God, for Sami.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wasatch Women's Social Club - Another Aspect of Me

Serendipity hit one day at Border's last year, and voila, here I was yesterday, enjoying lunch and officer installation of the Salt Lake Valley Wasatch Women's Social Club.

Actually, I mostly hang out with their Frantic Page Turner's aspect (the book club) but I've gone to Hale Theatre with them, and a dinner out with them (Carl invited as well), and let me tell you, they have a good time.
They actually started as a Welcome Wagon Group back in the '80s, then they "evolved" and I'm happy to have found them.

There were probably eighty-five good members at the luncheon yesterday, all walks of life it would appear, and ages from twenties or thirties to seventies.   They're from all over the valley, some work some don't, some life-long valley-dwellers, some new to the place and all enjoy one another.

Bunco, Canasta, weekly morning get-togethers, evening gatherings, movies, walks, bike riding, golf, skiing, its amazing.

And me?  I think I'm involved.  In part of it at least.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Biking - You Never Forget How, But You Do Lose Some of the Style

I rode my bike clear around Oquirrh Lake day before yesterday and though it darn near killed me, I did it and I hardly stopped.  And I stopped about twice only because I was about to fall off because I was nearly stopped.

Yes, the trails have only the slightest of inclines and yes, they have only the slightest of turns and the rarest of corners, but hey, it's been a long time.  I learned to ride over sixty years ago, but its been a few years since I was in the best of shape for it.

I went through all my gears on my bike from the easiest to the hardest, grunting up the hills and panicking down the slopes, slopping around the bends and jerking like an idiot around the corners, but I did it.

Carl led the way so he didn't have to witness the embarrassment and he also kept assuring me that every endeavor will make me better, stronger, tougher and braver.  It was awesome though my thighs hurt like sons-of-guns for the whole evening afterward.  Did I add I look like a dork with my helmet on, but I think that further brain damage is not worth the chic.

I"m pretty sure I'll try the trek around the lake again.  Carl says it was maybe two-and-a-half miles.  Maybe when I get a little buffer and my strength is up so the wobblies don't get to me quite so bad.   But I think the helmet better stay.  Can't be too careful.  Not with the Cannon head.

Monday, April 19, 2010

James 1:5 - The Life Changer

A simple, straight-forward statement from the Bible has changed me more than once and yet I still find it more than amazing:  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I'm changed because I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of of Latter-day Saints.  That Church came into existence because of that scripture.  But I'm changed far more because of it.  

I'm still astounded every time I do ask for wisdom and do get it though even though I go about it with great expectations.  It's amazing.  I've used it as a mother, as a wife, as an individual, as a teacher, as a friend, in all walks of life.  I've used it all through the years, and often.

Asking for wisdom is lots different than asking for things, changes, people.  It's so much easier and happens in the moment.  It really does.  It often really does.  

And yesterday, in his mission farewell talk as he and his wife Marci embark on a mission to Manchester England for the LDS Church, my brother, Mark Cannon,  spoke of this scripture again and the spirit boiled around me.  I wanted to stand up and shout "Hallelujah", (though I know how much trouble I'd be in if I did that.)  I just wonder how many people really know how meaningful and literal that scripture is?

We've talked through the years, Mark and I, and I've often wanted to hear how he talked to his congregation when he was their bishop.  We would talk about the amazing promises in the Gospel, including this one and how he always had such urgency to get those people moving on such promises of the Gospel.  And today I got that chance to hear him.  

Did they believe him again today?  I sure did.  And again I'm planning to use this amazing verse, because I know it works.  Today, tomorrow, again and again.  It seems almost too easy, but it's not.  It's just easy.  I have a testimony of that.  It's happened so many times I'm almost fearless to act upon anything I learn.  Almost.  Wish I could tell you I was absolutely there, but I guess that's what I'm trying to say.  I'm still so astounded by the whole thing that I'm still left breathless.  

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taxes are Taxing But Why Not For Everyone?

I'll admit I've not thought too much about the in's and out's of this one, and you could probably talk me off the ceiling pretty quick, but, really, why doesn't everyone pay taxes?

Tonight we drove to the Post Office to pay our "due diligence" because, well, we had to pay and that's what you do when you have to pay -- you wait until the last minute.  

And I remember listening to Doug Wright on KSL blathering on about taxes.  You know how he does, rambling on and on, phrasing and rephrasing, about how only 49 per cent or some such number pays Federal Income Tax.  

And since it's lots of the wealthy who can get off from paying taxes, he figured it would be better to have everybody just pay a variety of sales taxes on yachts, houses, cars, jewelry, etc., so everybody gets a chance to throw into the pot so to speak.  And why not, I wondered.   

Incidentally, if Doug's numbers (or my recollection) seems weird, CBS News reports the following:  

"An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay zero or negative federal income taxes. The number of single or jointly-filing 'taxpayers' - the word must be applied sparingly - who pay no taxes or receive government handouts has reached 65.6 million, out of a total of 151 million. "

I like roads, schools and national defense as much as the next guy, but I just like the next guy paying for it just like I pay.  Just sayin.

I know that Doug Wright is kind an old windbag most of the time, but is this making sense?    what do you think?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sinuses, Mine and Maybe Yours

The Cannon Head strikes again.  (The possible visual in your head is most entertaining, you know.)

I finally relented and went to an ear-nose-and-throat guy, Dr, Keith Finlayson.  In spite of the gargantuan size of my head, the passages from my sinuses are miniscule.  My sinuses are seventy to eighty percent blocked by my natural physiology in his his estimation.  Ironic, huh?

He spoke of teensy passages, bone spurs and mentioned the enormity of my turbinates.  When he mentioned this, I said "Did you say turbines?"

He said "They are something like that."  I saw the picture, and for sure they are.

Here's the reason for this post:  If you're a Cannon, have sinus problems, you might want to get this checked unless you enjoy the blinding headaches, the toxic waste trapped behind your eyes and the stuff forever leaking out.

I might have a problem getting it fixed now because I take blood thinners and getting the surgery requires I stop taking them for five days and that means there's a chance of some problems.

They say a word to the wise is sufficient.  I hope so.

I asked what sinuses are for anyway.  The doctor says no one really knows.  About three per cent of the population lacks them altogether and get along just fine, thank you.  Lucky dogs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lost Symbol -- a Fun Read for Mormons and Americans

I read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown some months ago with several expectations in mind.  
I had read a couple of his other books.  The first was the DaVinci Code and the second, I think, was Angels and Demons but I’m not sure.  I did like the DaVinci Code but I didn’t like the way the Catholic Church was eviscerated.  Just me on that.
I also wanted to learn something more about the Masons as they do have a famous or infamous tie-in with Joseph Smith and the Mormons.   I didn’t want them thrashed like the Catholics.  They were not. 
I also wanted to find out what the deal was with the our Founding Fathers, and specifically the fresco painted on the dome in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. that depicts George Washington becoming a God which is entitled “The Apotheosis of Washington”. It is definitely of some interest to Mormons who indeed to believe that man, indeed, can become as God is.  Aha!  That fresco is reprinted here.  Also, did the Masons have a hand in laying out Washington, D.C.?  Apparently Brown did go a little far in putting this idea across.  
Another item of great interest to me that is broached in the book is that of Noetic Sciences, or powers of the mind, which I did not expect.    I’d like to know more.  
I would suspect that much of what Dan Brown writes about has been thoroughly researched and it would be difficult to find what it is about his writings that make the leap from fact to fiction, but I’d love to do more follow-through on some of it.  
I have done research on the Mormons and Masons, have been to their downtown Salt Lake Temple, inside and out, seen their uniforms they wear and talked to their members, and am confident there is little commonality between the two, and that Joseph Smith had his revelations on the Temple Endowment long before his association with the Masons in 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois.  So rumors that the Temple Endowment was taken from the Masons is really of no concern to me.  I’ll do something on that later.
The Lost Symbol started out a little slowly for me as I was in Hawaii and Dan Brown is a rather formulaic writer, but things get heated up about three-quarters of the way through.  The killings, the goofy tattooed guy and the menacing stuff got a bit old to me by this book because they are too similar to former books though there were some twists, but I did like learning about the Masons, Noetics and, of course, Washington, D.C.  I’d even recommend it on those accounts.  In fact, I’d recommend it on all accounts.  
I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan Brown didn’t have the Mormons in his sights for one of his next books.  It might be kind of interesting, in fact.  The Church is true, God is in His Heaven so it might be kind of interesting and put some interest our way.  I guess we do get into trouble when “anti-Mormons” get rolling, but we can take it.  On the other hand . . . Yipes?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some Weird Stuff from Space Via Google Maps

I had a fabulous report on the Lost Symbol done but I stupidly erased it.  I'm too mad to do it again tonight so let this suffice.  I've not done that in so long.  Let's just say I've had a killer headache all day and let it go at that.  One thing they lack in Arizona is caffeine-free Diet Coke in abundance and so I'm thinking I'm having a headache from the significant new lack of caffeine OR my sinuses just can't stand whatever is going on around here.  So check this out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Top 10 Reasons You Should Let Your Child Have A Messy Room

I've been away and busy so here's a little something to help you a) amuse yourself b) develop a little self-deception c) not notice I'm too tired to blog right now d) have an excuse for yourself when you're too tired and e) be tricked into thinking Twitter is helpful

pastedGraphic.pdf   pastedGraphic_1.pdf
Top 10 Reasons You Should Let Your Child Have A Messy Room
1. It can enhance your child's balance and coordination skills. As they have to weave around the objects on their floor, leap into bed, and scale the mound of clothes without slipping.
2. Memory skills are improved. As your child struggles to remember where they left their library book, under the bed or maybe on the desk, they are working their memory. After all doesn't every parent want his or her child to develop a good memory?
3. Handyperson skills are developed. As they learn the fine art of unjamming a drawer that is stuffed too full of clothes. This could come in handy when they are a parent themselves.
4. The art of positive thinking is learned. As they think to themselves, "This room looks great. I know where everything is. I like it this way. It reflects who I am." In some cases this art is very finely developed.
5. They learn the power of persuasion as they convince parents and siblings to help them clean. This lesson is especially potent when they share a room with a sibling.
6. The idea that they have their own rights, space, and privacy is established. They learn that their room is a place where "parents won't violate their values and standards of cleanliness." If you can even say messy room and cleanliness in the same sentence?
7. They learn how to push their parent's buttons and that having a messy room is a big button.
8. They learn creative thinking as they establish their own system of orderliness, which is undetectable to the average parent's eyes.
9. If they do decide to clean their room they will learn the art of discrimination, "sorting dirty clothes from clean ones or useful junk from garbage junk."
10. They teach parents valuable lessons like how to "mediate a cooperative non-violent cleaning effort" and "that learning cannot be imposed from without because it only has true value when it comes from within."
Some of the thoughts were borrowed from Linda A. Boulter in her article titled Natural Child: Parenting and Educating That Respects Children.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Koran Speaks Up For Women

Just a little extra something from Half the Sky.  (Now don't abandon me yet!!!  This is the end of this book's blogs.)

Something that is quite well received is lessons from the Koran throughout much of the world of Islam specifically for women.

The deal is, the Koran teaches that women should be treated well and equally, but those are not the scriptures that are well-known among the people of Islam.  So, when the women go to their Koran classes and learn of these scriptures, they go home and teach them to their husbands and something wonderful happens.  The men begin to better adhere to these teachings, because they believe and love the Koran.

Further, an interesting note is made that though the Koran is beautifully written, it can be misinterpreted, and scholarship is coming increasingly becoming more and more into the camp of believing that those who are martyrs for the cause are not going to be welcomed by seventy-two black-eyed virgins, but by a plate of seventy-two white grapes!!!!

"If the martyr-wanna-be's were to realize the prize in heaven for martyrdom was the Aramaic "Hur" (white grapes) and not the Arabic "Hur" (described variedly as a beauty, enchantress and virgin), argues Kristof, then Muslims would probably would not be in such a rush to kill themselves."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Half the Sky" - A Study in the Value of Education

Here I am.  A lifelong teacher and again I have to learn the lesson I’ve known forever.  Legislation doesn’t work.  Force doesn’t work.  Fear doesn’t work.  What works is education.  “Give a man a fish and you feed him for for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  An adage that’s so true.   
In the sixth grade we saw a film on drug addiction and saw a picture of an addict who they said was an old addict.  They said he was in his twenties.  I don’t know what his drug of choice was, but he looked like so many miles of bad road, that I never wanted to run the risk of ever looking like him.  Drugs never had an appeal for me.  Other things did, but not drugs.  I had learned in sixth grade.
I remember when AIDS, full-blown AIDS was killing so many young men.   Then there was a huge program embarked upon that taught about unprotected gay sex in fliers, in billboards, in radio public-service announcements, and particularly in areas where gay men congregated and lived,  such as San Francisco, and other large metro areas.  Many people thought it was hilarious and worthless.  But a miracle took place.  The death rate due to AIDS dropped radically and never reached the proportions that had been predicted.  
The same thing has been found to be true with methamphetamene use.  Meth is so bad, yet education has been found to be a deterrent to its use.  Children whose parents talk to them about it are half as likely to use than those whose parents don’t speak to them about it at all.  (

And then I learn in “Half the Sky” -- remember my blog from a few days ago? -- that the single greatest thing to help the women in third world countries and in repressed situations is again, education.  The women who are abused, hurt, those in the sex trades, those who have genital mutilations, those who have terrible fistulas from rapes and poor maternal care.  
There are those who have given up their lives to provide such education.  There are those who have started programs to fund such educations and there are those who have merely sent funds to help with these educational endeavors and they are working.  Miracles are happening throughout the world.  
It doesn’t take much more than a little look online to see what has happened as a result of this book and what things are taking place, what people have been helped and what groups have been mobilized.  
Embroidery, crop and animal raising and other enterprises have been developed among women and the respect for women by their husbands has grown such amazing ways.  Family decision making, equality, physical decency have all grown between spouses because of this education.  It has been remarkable.
This book is life-changing, I think, for everyone.  I learned about it on Oprah, and laugh if you will, her crusade on behalf of the women of the world has changed me.  I hope mine at least encourages you to read this book.  Or at least listen when it is spoken about.  It matters.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is Anyone Happy With Her Hair?

Likely only women will understand this, but women will understand this.  All women likely.

Ali has wonderful hair.  It's very thick for a five year old.  It grew to her waist by the time she was three and has a natural curl to it that just "goes" right out of the shower.  It's wonderful.

But one day she wanted it curled.  When the work was done, this was the result.  Cute, huh?

Ali, didn't think so.  She didn't see it until it was done.

Notice the blotchy skin?  Notice the sad look?  That's from quite a bit of crying.  She didn't get the look she'd hoped for and cried and cried.  It was awful.

Many a prom night has had such a disappointment, I'm sure. Perhaps such a meltdown is in Ali's future.

Ali now sees the picture and says she now likes it.  We all do that it retrospect.  We just don't know what the fuss was all about.  But the fuss was very real and required.  Life and its little heartbreaks.  No one understands.  But they are really there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Win or Lose, Arizona's Where I Am

I'm in Arizona.  I'm here for a number of reasons.  I was initially coming down with my brother, Brent, to visit my Aunt and Uncle Pat and Glen Crookston, last month  but with the beginning of Spring Training and baseball, we couldn't get any room at the place we usually stay.

So we boosted ahead to this month and found that the week we chose was LDS Conference Weekend, which traditionally is miserable weather, Easter and touted the last day of Spring Training which I blogged about yesterday.  

I love being in wonderful weather when the weather back home is miserable, but somehow, people back home resent the heck out of us.  It is gorgeous here however.  But that notwithstanding, there are some drawbacks:

1)  We missed Easter with the girls.  We did, however, receive the photos which you see with the girls on their new bikes and their helmets properly affixed and a promise that they can ride to our house if Julia watches them ride down Lake Bridge Road and we then watch them ride the rest of the way down Oquirrh Lake Road.  We then got to have Easter Dinner with Ben which is something we've not been able to do in a long time and got a promise from him to come to Thanksgiving Dinner next year and a semi promise from his friend, Susie, that she'll come as well.  That's great progress and a good trade-off.  

2.  I miss Conference on TV but we'll have that recorded when we get home and I'll have that then and on Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoons, I enjoyed conference via the Tweet World or Tweeternacle (#ldsconf) where everyone tunes in to Tweetie and write what they find to be significant comments from the current talks and what they have to say about it.  It's really fun and quite an experience.  I loved it and made some new Twitter friends.  I really lost nothing and gained in that.  

So what happened in the net gain/loss world?  I gained!  I am warm for the first time in a long time, a few people are a little miffed that I've escaped the cold but they'll get over it.  I enjoyed Conference doubly, I've seen Ben, met Susie, and not crying uncontrollably as I likely would be if I were home in the cold and snow.  And tomorrow I go see Pat and Glen for lunch.  

Thanks, Az, for being next door.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Bores of Summer

Know what?  I'm something of a fairweather fan.

I went to the Cubs-Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Phoenix on Friday and found that I couldn't care less who wins after all.

In theory, I'm a Cubs fan through and through.  We lived in Chicago from 1967 to 1976, both our sons were born at the Edgewater Hospital right there in the city of Chicago, delivered by the good Dr. Eli Bernick while he was wearing his yarmulke. At least he was wearing his yarmulke when Brad was born since it was during the high holy days, and much of what I consider my best education was received there.

Not specifically in the delivery room, mind you, but in Chicago.  I did learn a lot about pain, panic, suffering and humiliation in the delivery room, however, but that's another story for a long, wintery night when people can't leave.

Anyway, there we were at Chase Field, a beautiful park that has a lid that will roll back to reveal the sky like the top on a sardine can. Everything was perfect except that the prices on the food were crazy high and they were serving Diet Pepsi.  Lotsa lights and the Jumbotron made me crazy with ADD and delight.  It was wonderful.

But the game began and, and though as usual I expected better, it was boring like most every other game I've ever seen.  It wasn't until after the seventh inning stretch that anything happened.  Ben said it was a pitcher's duel.  I say it was a dud of a game.  I should have hauled my Kindle out of my purse but I would have been mocked, I know.  Brad, in fact, was mocking me on my IPhone saying I probably didn't know who was playing.  I knew who was playing.  I just didn't care.  He also recalled to me I read a book at football games.  I don't remember that, but probably I did if I attended football at all.  Football lasts forever.

I also thought the players' uniforms looked cheap.  Ben explained they were the pre-season uniforms.  They're pros!  I say they can afford better uniforms for pre-season too.

But then the hits started coming.  It started getting good.  I loved every crack o' the bat.  I didn't care who got them.  There was even a home run.  And I cheered for every one.  The people who loved the Backs that I'd developed a cheesy rivalry with looked at me like I'd gone nuts until they got the drift.  I was there for the action.  I tried to explain that I appreciated skill regardless of where it came from, but they saw through that, I know.

The D-backs won 5 to 3 and I thank them for every run.   Pitcher's duel, my behind.  I say we should get our money back for that kinda game.  That's no game, that's catch.  No one likes to watch that.  They just pretend they do.

Incidentally, That's Susie, Ben's friend in the picture with Ben, who is fearlessly sporting his Cubs shirt.  He is a plucky lad.  He was born in Chicago.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fat Ralph Has Everything on the Easter Bunny

He is only  one year old,  potentially still growing and he weighs thirty-five pounds.  It costs $20 a day to feed him and he lives in the UK.  And yes, he's alive.  Have a happy Easter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Looking Towards the Women of the World

I'm killing myself.  I am listening to Half the Sky on Audiobook written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, a husband and wife.  But it may be as important an endeavor as I've done in a long time.

It's the story of women in third-world countries and the terrible plight that often they're in; sex-trafficking, prostitution, terrible health-care, poverty, violence, suppression, the lack of education and respect and powerlessness in general.

First it inspires me, then it discourages me, alarms me then makes me want to sell everything I have and do something.  Then I learn something more and I'm in despair again.

It is a story of how difficult it is for us, individuals and nations of power, to make a difference and yet it is a book that needs to be read because without this information coming to the fore, nothing will be done.  Throughout there are terrifying stories to illustrate, but there are also thrilling ones.

And as I persevere through, I'm finding hope.  The hope is not only in help monetarily, but from within.  And though I'm not finished with the book, I'm seeing the solutions coming as the book reconciles itself.  They come through education of both the women and men.  They come through changes starting from the top and from the bottom.  These changes are coming from within and from without.  These are coming miraculously and from simple things.

I'm not finished but when I am, I'll finish this blog.  But in the meantime, I hope you read it yourself.  It is something that needs to be read.  We need to know this.  It matters to our  futures.