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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

a good kiss makes everything special


To be honest with you, I am having a hard time whittling down the list to just one special date. I am easy to please, so I think that might be partly to blame for me believing so many dates were special. The real question would be to ask the guys on this list of mine for their take on the dates. But since none of those sweethearts are here, I will make a list of a few of my favorites.

1. When I was 16, my steady boyfriend at the time, David, was only 15, and neither of us were allowed to (officially) date until 16. So, being the dutiful and kind girlfriend that I was, I waited to go on that first official date until he turned 16. Then, his family was busy with moving around his birthday, so we had to wait a bit more. I can't tell you how much I was anticipating this date. The poor guy. So anyways, we went to see a movie (I can't remember which movie) and stopped at Wendy's. I remember eating a frosty in front of my house and then some not even close to first kisses.

2. The second half of high school was filled with a second steady boyfriend (the first one moved, remember?). Erik was one grade behind me, so all my friends said I was robbing the cradle. We had no clue what we were talking about. So, to get to the point, I think he knew I was something else being an "older woman" and all, so he would get romantic and creative. I have always loved surprises, so anytime he came up with some idea for a picnic or going for a drive, I was wrapped around his little finger. However, one of the most special dates with Erik was when we went on a ski trip to Big Bear for his nineteenth birthday. We got all dressed up and ate at the best restaurant in the lodge. It was lovely and romantic with snow piled everywhere. The setting was immaculate and so was the company. The kisses at that dinner table alone were delicious.

3. Last but not least, I have this friend Jimy. He and I "dated" before I was allowed to date, so when I was around nineteen and in the midst of a breakup from Erik, he asked me out on an official date. We had become very good friends; I would talk to him about my troubles and he could make me laugh like no other. Therefore, he blurred the line some with that invitation. But, I've always been one to walk the line, so I said yes. I had known Jimy for about five years at this point, so I should not have been nervous, but I was. I think it was the part about him telling me to be sure to dress up. After picking me up, he drove us to the Rio where they had a nice Italian restaurant inside. The place was dripping with romance. I'm big on details like chandeliers, candles, and fresh flowers, and I'm pretty sure Jimy set me up. The meal was perfect and so was the date. I had forgotten how good he kissed until he reminded me that night. Wow.

So, the moral (not sure if that's the best word choice but whatever) of these stories is that it all boils down to if the boy can kiss or not. Just kidding. But seriously, as I reflected on all the best of times, they were all sealed with amazingly beautiful kisses.


For your further enjoyment, here is a silly video about kisses. Warning: it's as corny as a corn dog.

Celebrating National Adoption Month

Since beginning this blog adventure I have become friends, to varying degrees, with scads of people. The adventure of it all has been peeling off in layers of pure blissful discovery. I've always loved learning, but I never thought I would learn so much just by connecting with a global audience of complete strangers. 

Two of these new friends happen to be adoptive parents. Becoming friends with Abby and Jeremy Kidd has taught me about adoptive parents from a perspective I couldn't have gained any other way. The pure love they have for their first adopted child is heartening and provides a wonderful example of how adoption can turn complicated situations into blessings for everyone. 

Now, Abby and Jeremy are seeking a new addition to their family (and from what I've heard, their oldest is more than ready to be a big sister). So, in order to help the Kidd family in their quest to make their family more complete, I want to share with you how we all can help them. 

The following information was written by Abby Kidd (and edited and embellished by me): 

We are home studied and approved, hoping to adopt an infant or sibling group of two children one year of age or younger through private adoption or the agency LDS Family Services.  To learn more about our story, we have included several links for you to choose from: 
Our profile on itsaboutlove.org can be found here: https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27857648/ourMessage.jsf%E2%80%9D 
You can learn more about us at our blog here: http://jeremyandabbyadopt.wordpress.com 
Follow the Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/jeremyandabbyadopt   
Follow us on Twitter: @jeremyandabby 
We are doing various things to raise funds to cover fees. We have an Etsy shop with beautiful handmade aprons and dishcloths. Currently, there are two aprons available in the shop, and I can do made-to-order aprons as well if you contact me through one of the gazillion links I've provided. The dishcloths are made with 100% cotton yarn. Many people like hand-knit dishcloths because they are good scrubbers while still being gentle. These products would also make a nice gift to give for any occasion: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JeremyandAbbyAdopt 
If you aren't interested in our Etsy shop offerings, alternate ways to help us raise funds can be found here: http://jeremyandabbyadopt.wordpress.com/fundraising/. 
The very best way to help us is to follow and share. In order to find an adoption match for our family, we need for women experiencing crisis pregnancies to see our links and learn about our family. We kindly ask for support in any way that you can.  
Also, we love to meet other adoptive families, adoptees, and birth mothers who have placed children for adoption. So, as you follow and share, we also hope to benefit by creating an even richer network of families similar to ours. 
--  Abby and Jeremy  


November is National Adoption Month. In celebration of it, we will have a giveaway! Abby has generously offered one of her hand-crafted aprons from their Etsy shop to give to one lucky winner. And it's fabulously PURPLE (surprise, surprise)!

The apron we're giving away is an adult size, made to fit just about anyone.
What I hope is that my small effort to lend a hand to the Kidd family will somehow send out a ripple effect in the pond, thus helping these friends of mine who have taught me so much about parental love and determination. 

Remember to follow, share, and enter this special giveaway honoring National Adoption Month!

inspiration's sonnet

Creativity does not flow freely.
Pressuring demands weigh down heavily.
A humble request for felicity
Placed on a revolving door carefully
Reads, "True companionship and loyalty
Wanted. Inquire within. Please honestly
Consider this behest, because empty
Promised words wither expeditiously."
Gaining a lasting connection with free
Will at the helm entices both to please.
Sunrises, pathways lit, become where we
Lead each other in new ways, with sweet ease.
This dream rekindles a spark within me.
I search for you yet only feel the breeze.

Seeking to Become: Thanksgiving 2013 (3)

Singing the song of gratitude this month is a gift I've given myself. I have been able to look past the dulled senses of those people who make fun of daily gratitude lists, and I've also been able to keep myself from feeling trite in my gratitude expressions. Gratitude comes from the heart, and I have been able to truly draw upon the spirit in my life to realize the abundance surrounding me. Cultivating more positive reflections is an essential I want to keep going, and expressing gratitude will help me.

I hope you've found time to sing with thanksgiving a little more and that we will all continue to recognize all the goodness around us.

Gratitude List 3

1.  Good books to read (Fahrenheit 451 has been on my mind)
2.  Children who love me despite my personal hamartia collection 
3.  Comfortable and safe living conditions
4.  The ability to write--quality yet to be determined
5.  Innate creativity 
6.  People who reach outside their comfort zone to give a helping hand
7.  Forgiveness
8.  Beautiful music that heals hearts
9.  Being able to feel--even when it hurts--but most especially when tears of joy overflow
10. The gift of sight, so I can fully appreciate all of God's lovely creations with my own eyes

Related Links:

Week 1

Week 2

sunshine in the rain

When life gets to be nearly unbearable, something always--without fail--shows me how life is not unbearable but blessed and wonderful.

Negativity began to creep in yesterday, peaking as I went to sleep last night. I woke up in a static mood and not wanting to get moving for the day. Then, I remembered about a special luncheon for one of my scholarships and had to get dressed. Remembering about that luncheon was the first good thing that occurred to help me get out of my dark cloud.

Then, I had the pleasure of helping a good friend with a project about blogging and all that's entailed in getting blogs out into the wild blue yonder (the internet). His detailed questions helped me realize how much I do know, which inadvertently proved that I'm not as much of a poser as I was leading myself to believe. And he bought me whatever I wanted for breakfast, and that translated into bacon and chocolate milk (try not to be too jealous).

Part of my anxiety was stemming from a presentation I had to give in my leadership course. I haven't been able to put my ideas into a concrete form, because life has been jacked. I was feeling so unprepared. I'd really like to know how to turn off all the stress and family demands and just get to work when I need to. So anyway, I went to class and did my presentation and didn't die or even faint. When class was over, I was able to realize how I had worked myself up into a perfectionist's nightmare.

The next part of my day was beautiful. I couldn't find the banquet room where the luncheon was being held, and time was running out for being on-time. I began to sink back into feeling like I can't ever get things to go right, then a gentleman crossed my path (literally) who looked like he might know something about something. Well, he did. He even found me someone who was going to the luncheon and would drive me there, so I wouldn't be late. How fortunate is that? I mean seriously. I was in awe for about fifteen minutes over the whole transaction.

That lunch was a really special time, too. I feel more than fortunate to have been able to get there and share in hearing and telling of the single moms' stories of how we all came to be in need of the scholarship. I also heard stories from children and grandchildren about the husband and wife who set up the endowment funding the scholarships. Receiving such a generous scholarship has blessed me so greatly that I didn't think this family could give me, a stranger, anything more. I was wrong. Sharing a meal with them and seeing how they were so completely invested in my success was an honor I will never forget.

My day has continued to be an avalanche of good tidings. I found out that I impressed a colleague with my editing skills so much so that she wants to hire me to edit a website for her. I realized that I have some time this weekend to work on school projects. And an old friend teased me like old times. I'm not really sure how that last one is so great, but it made me smile and laugh so much.

Today was slated to be 100% chance of rain, but instead, my expectations were dashed to pieces and replaced with sunshine and the best of times.

Seeking to Become: Thanksgiving 2013 (2)

Gratitude List 2

1.  Friends near and far who buoy me up amidst this raging storm called life
2.  Neighbors who help me to take care of my house and yard
3.  Glitter because it's just really great stuff
4.  Snow--so long as the power doesn't shut off
5.  Goodly parents who taught me how to be a good person
6.  The Internet (and Internet service because without connection the Internet is stupid)
7.  A nice cell phone that works well and allows me to explore photography in news ways
8.  Cameras--good ones like Nikon and Canon but also cameras on phones and point and shoot
9.  Pool tables, bowling alleys, batting cages, swimming pools, and movie theaters
10. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook (yes, Twitter people, I included Facebook) because all of these social media sites connect me to new and old friends, my family, and readers like you

Follow the link below for information about this month's Seeking to Become focus
and Gratitude List 1:

Thanksgiving 2013: Week 1

lost but found

On my seventeenth birthday, I woke up in the morning to get ready for school, and my parents came into my room with a card and a ring box. They didn't have a lot of money when I was a teenager, so I didn't really expect much even though I always wished for more than the moon. I remember my mom's nervous anticipation for me to open the box and see their gift (I've inherited that quality from her of loving to give gifts almost more than receiving them). They were standing in the doorway as I opened the box and glimpsed the purple sparkling awesomeness. I put it on right away, and, of course, it was a perfect fit. It has been one of my most prized possession since that day.

I like to wear jewelry. Genuine or costume, jewelry makes a statement. For this reason I don't wear the same thing more than once a month or much longer, except for my favorites. When I get in the mood to wear one of my favorites, I might wear that one thing every day for a week or two without taking it off but to shower. There are a few gold pendants that have my initial that come into favor from time to time, plus some gold hoop earrings, and then, there is my silver and amethyst purple sparkling awesomeness that my parents gave me for my birthday that I revisit for a few weeks in a row once or twice a year. 

I tend to get into the mood to wear the amethyst ring when I miss my parents the most, and that time has arrived over this past month. When stress is high, I catch myself wishing them here again for a hug or words of encouragement. But it is impossible. So, I reach for a physical reminder that I can touch. I put that ring back on three weeks ago. 

Wearing this special ring breaks my heart as much as it comforts it. I miss my mom and dad so much.  So when I lost my ring last week, I was nearly inconsolable. Telling myself that it is just a thing and pushing the thought of it out of my mind were all I could do to avoid crying over it. The car was searched a few times, and I thought to call the store I visited to see if someone found it in the parking lot, but I just couldn't face the fact that it might be missing forever. 

However, after several days of coming to terms with the idea that it was truly lost, my brother, as he bent down to pick up the newspaper off the driveway, found it just laying there on the ground! I totally yelled out in jubilation and grabbed him for a hug and skipped about. Yes, I skipped about. There's no better way to describe it. I skipped about on the driveway, up the stairs onto the porch, and into the house. Then, what did I do? I skipped about a little more.  

All my hope and happiness does not hang on a piece of jewelry, but I felt a little extra heartbroken the past few days thinking that the ring was never to be seen again. I am so grateful it is no longer lost but found. 

the present


As I read this writing prompt, I almost laughed, cried, and yelled all at the same time. My life has been and continues to be a trial by fire. I think it's because I'm just a little too wicked for my own good, so God has to keep me in check so I don't get too far gone.

As I reflect on all of life's trials, I would have to say that the one we are currently experiencing would be the most trying. While I can recall how much I suffered in the past, it all pales in comparison to the present, even though those trials were severe, tragic, and the most trying experiences at the time. Time does heal wounds.

All of that said, it stands as proof for how I will get through my current trials--once they are laid to rest in the past where they belong.

memories of childhood friends


I had a lot of special friends when I was younger, so I don't really know how to choose just one! So, I won't. The only thing I worry about is if I forget someone. If you're reading this and you're one of my awesome friends from childhood, leave a comment and I will edit this. I don't want to leave out any of you.

A Handful of the Most Awesome Friends List

Teresa: playing at the park until late at night with her family, eating soup during the blazing Las Vegas summer in the shade of her tree in the front yard, walking to school together, learning to eat with chopsticks because there weren't any forks
Diana: rollerskating until we drop, making out with our pillows, homemade Orange Julius, the raging bonfire in my backyard
Tammy: Barbies, bypassing her house alarm and climbing out her bedroom window, traipsing around the neighborhood in the black of night, flocked Christmas trees
Sarah and Becky: Tang tea parties, scones, clogging, sleeping on trampolines, piling on layers and layers of clothes to play strip poker until we got down to decent exposure, "ballroom dancing"
My cousin, Sara: picking on the little cousins, giggling endlessly about nothing, peanut butter and chocolate bars at the beach in grandma's car, one of the best pen pals ever, "That chaps my hide!"

love hard

I barely know what to say. I don't want to write nonsense just to fill up the page, and I certainly don't want to give any false impressions. But there is something to be said for not unloading too much information constantly. So, I will share a mini slice of life today, in an effort to not spew negativity on the world. We certainly know it has enough of that.

A nice way to describe my slice of life right now is that I live in a pressure cooker most days. I would much rather simmer on low like a nice stew, but I must be meant for a life of intense heat.

Love hard. Live hard.

I guess that's how it goes.

game playing


When I was growing up, Monopoly was my absolute favorite game of all time, but as time goes on I'm not so sure anymore. I still love to play Monopoly, but I have become much less exclusive. Playing chess has become something I like even though I'm not that great at it. Scrabble, Taboo, Jenga, Apples to Apples, Battleship, and many more are seriously the bee's knees in my book. I can't and won't choose a favorite. I will say that my favorite thing about games is that you're playing them with others, and that's what makes them so fun--win or lose.

Seeking to Become - Thanksgiving 2013 (1)

"Sing unto the Lord with Thanksgiving." Psalms 147:7

As Thanksgiving approaches, my heart turns to focus on how my year has gone thus far, and I reflect on how well I am doing at seeking to become more like the Savior. The past few weeks have been very trying for me, so if I only look at how things are in this very moment I honestly don't think I'm doing so hot. I would have to admit that I am failing miserably. And I do admit it. However, looking at life microscopically is no way to live. Because I seek and strive to become more what God would have me be most of the time, I am reassured that things are not so bleak.

The many changes that have occurred over the past year have come to pass through great trials and tireless work to listen to my heart and become a more spiritually-centered person. The temptation to quit pulls at me more often than I'd like to admit, but through the strength of the Lord I am able to continue on to a bright future.

Blessings abound. Therefore, the remainder of this month will have more focus on singing praises of thanksgiving for all that makes life beautiful and worth living. I will sing unto the Lord my gratitude by taking time to ponder on all that I've been blessed with and share those things with you.

I invite any and all to join with me. You can link up your gratitude blogs or jot down some thoughts directly in the comments section, or you may also comment on The Purple Lady Facebook Page or tweet at me on Twitter: @th_purpl_lady.

Gratitude List 1

1. Children to love and care for
2. The gospel of Jesus Christ in my life
3. Fresh and delicious food to eat every day
4. A beautiful home with a yard full of strawberry plants, raspberry bushes, apricot and almond trees, and lovely flowers, bushes, and climbing vines
5. Nice furniture and electronics for enjoying movie time with family, friends, and by myself
6. A good running vehicle that gets me where I need to go
7. A sharp intellect (on most days)
8. Sisters-in-law who love me to my face and behind my back
9. Brothers who appreciate my efforts to keep our family together
10. All of my whacky and wonderful cousins, aunt, uncles, grandparents, nieces, and nephews

books and more books


Books are a beloved topic for me. I was an early reader and have learned to love many books and authors, so I don't really have a particular favorite per se, but I have more of a list of most favorites which can fluctuate with my mood. 

That said, the best fiction novel of all time does happen to be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I really loved the classics my mom would read to us when I was a child, like Stuart Little, Where the Wild Things Are, and others. As a teenager, I really got into Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Good Earth, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and A Wrinkle in Time. As an adult, I have come to love many series of books, including Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Matched, Twilight, and Hunger Games. I also have appreciated Paradise by Toni Morrison, Lord of the Flies, Hatchet, Gone With the Wind, and more. 

There have been many, many more books, but these are the ones that come to mind. 

I have a small collection of book reviews for your reading pleasure, if you want to find a good book or two to get started on something new. Check the table of contents on the right side bar of the blogsite, then click reviews to see the several titles. 

More on Jane EyreJane's Silence



It snowed only a couple of times ever while I was growing up in Las Vegas. It was a rare treat that never stuck for long when it did grace us with its presence. I think that's partly why I love snow so much. There is something so magical to me about snow. Many people love Las Vegas because of its warm temperatures, but give me the snow!

I wrote about some things we did to enjoy the the snow here: The Snow Lay on the Ground

healthy living


I don't know how I feel about these two questions! But here goes.

My secret to good health is probably to enjoy it while it lasts, and then go to the doctor when it isn't so good. I do believe in hand washing religiously. My children and I are not sick very often, and I attribute that to my demanding of them to wash hands when we come home from places such as school, stores, playing with friends, and so on. It's so simple, but I think it helps.

And now to how it is to live with me? Good grief.

I like having help from anyone who lives with me regardless of age. That expectation can get me feeling impatient, and I don't like that. So, I try to find ways to communicate what I need, and I hope things aren't too bad for anyone living with me. Well, my kids can just get over it, but you know what I mean. As of late, I have been quite the definition of a hot mess as far as my bedroom, study, and craft room go, so my disorganized state might bother some people. I am really looking forward to Christmas break just so I can unwind and get things organized! Maybe I will become easier to live with then.

uniquely talented


One talent I can think of right off the top of my head that was handed down to me is being able to talk to anyone. My dad used to embarrass me so much in grocery stores and on the side of the road, but now I see why he did it, and I do it, too. He'd stop anyone who looked distressed and ask how they were doing--and really want to know the answer. I remember one time when he had a feeling about a guy walking down the street as we were driving down the road. He said that guy looks like he needs help, so he stopped and asked him if he could use a ride, and the man said yes. Long story short, the man ended up needing money, shelter, and someone to care for his daughter while he found work or something in another state. I'm not sure how long his daughter was with us, but I remember sharing my room for what I thought was a week or two.

That brings me to another talent that has been passed down to me. My parents had an open door to anyone who needed somewhere to stay. We had cousins in and out of our house like there was a revolving door, and many aunts and uncles had a turn at the family hotel. Everyone knew that if they were having a tough time themselves or with their children, my parents would welcome them with no judgment and offer all the assistance possible. Even a stranger from the side of the road could tell my parents could be trusted with his child so he could get on his feet.

These might not seem like talents in a traditional sense, but they truly are talents, and I have embraced them. I haven't quite mastered some aspects, but I believe that I was handed down the talent of being seen as someone people can tell things to, as well as someone who maintains a home where people can come to feel loved.

I'm not perfect at them yet, but these are two talents that I try to cultivate and hope to master before my life is done.


I wonder sometimes about how everything will turn out. To skim the surface for so long when you have so many hopes and dreams cannot make for a very promising future. I work so hard only to barely make it. And what I'm finding out is that somehow people think I'm doing so great considering my circumstances. I don't feel so great. I feel like I won't ever be able to get out of this place I'm in. I go to counseling, and everything doesn't seem so bad, but then I have days like today when I just want someone to be by my side helping me. I'm tired of being strong all by myself, having to make all the difficult decisions alone. My heart has too many holes left gaping. I'm tired of waiting for nothing to happen, never able to take care of myself. I recognize that I am surrounded by blessings. Without them, I could not go on. Yet on days like today, I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. There aren't enough shoulders to cry on. There are not enough words to quell the flood of emotions. And only tears come. 

to stop is to live

Precious moments keep slipping past
Slipping through my fingers
Yet as I feel each moment 
Leaving quickly from the present
I reach out, stopping to grab hold
Of a glimmer of the beauty
That only living life can provide
Grasping on almost too tightly
Because I don't want to lose 
One more minute of treasured time
To the ticking of the clock