My day began in scant - remembered yesterdays ago...
My day moves on and outward, like a river in its flow...

Is My Voice Yet Heard In the Great Unknown?

Time has taken me swiftly on his wing and and the moments and places have blended and passed on their way.
At last I pick up this raveling and try to re-organize, re-create something of value and beauty . . .

SPRING is struggling toward us, loathe as we are for the heat of her, yet we love the miracle of her beauty, and the gentle calls that come on the soft breath of spring . . .

Flowering Trees on BYU Campus. Wet and chilly with Promise and Remembrance

Sacrament Meeting Poem

Frustrated by inane lyrics of a folksy song about Jesus sung in Sacrament Meeting, I sat down and composed these on the spot. They come close . . .

In the quiet woodland,
Green beneath the trees,
Jesus walked.
And by the sweeping shore
Where long white waves
Curled singing at our feet,
The Savior walked.

He touched us with his hands,
Warm as the sun
That spilled her golden light,
Soft as the gray dove's wing.
And in his eyes
Were all the harvests,
All the gardens sweet,
All the pure smiles of children
Throughout time.

And Love.
Oh, in his gaze
That Love poured forth
Like honeyed light,
Like all the stars of heaven.
When His voice spoke
The wind spoke, and the thunder,
And the sea,
And every lullaby that mothers sing:

When Jesus spoke.
When Jesus walked with man.


Before Katie and Dylan left we three went to see Nick's Art Exhibit at BYU Library, down near Special Collections.

It was outstanding, and some of the pieces very thought-provoking. He showed up at the last minute and kindly explained the why and wherefore of many of the portraits: the mediums, how and why he used them, and the various effects they created.

We were grateful and pleased.

Portrait of Girl

Man On Horse

Katie and Nick in front of Man on Horse

Nick's Father in a Snowy Field of upstate New York

Farther off view giving stronger overall impression, especially of sky

SURPRISES! Easter bringing Gifts Unexpected and Filled With Delight!

SURPRISES! Easter bringing Gifts Unexpected and Filled With Delight!
Coloring eggs in Provo with Morg and Tille. Not to be imagined or hoped for a week ago!

There is no magic greater than Blowing Bubbles!

Tillie and Koppa: always Tillie and Koppa! (Reading the note the Easter Bunny left)

A block tower extraordinare!

Dylan and Katie!! Prom dress . . . new three-piece suit . . . Easter eggs extraordinaire, and time to visit with everyone!

Katie's Creation: Swallows against a mottled blue sky

A CROW as well as swallows - and an Easter basket with a trail of tiny eggs, and a bunny as well!

Another spot of beauty -- and practicality!

Acquisition IS important -- the MAGIC must from time to time be stirred up and added to! Susa's new doll, from Glen's. We are calling her Margarent and Magpie -- for the time being . . .

Beauty and Magic SING through our POETRY Evenings! Here are Megan and Becky-- and surely the best of the beauty is their faces, and their spirits that shine through!

New Things tucked in with Old. Beauty and Peace.

In late March James and I visited Tillie, Morag and Seth in Las Vegas -- at last. Tillie opening a gift-- oh, is there anything nicer?

Tillile--the Magic Goes On

New Easter Dress; so demure and pleased

Riding In the Cadillac Again

The Ballagio on the strip. I have never seen anything so amazing and wondrous in my life!

Playing School!! What a competent and patient teacher Tillie was!

The Little Family -- all four!

TILLIE Riding her Horse -- oh, how well she rides horses!!!


Yet, still, the beauty of the Birth of the Son of God touches all with the last rays of golden wonder . . . and we are loathe to go on with the common and ordinary again . . .

Margaret Murray:
God bless the little things this Christmastide,
All the little wild things that live outside;
Little cold robins and rabbits in the snow,
Give them good faring and a warm place to go;
All little young things for His sake Who died . . .
Who was a Little Thing at Christmastide . . .

The Magical Round WIndow in the hall upstairs--now with a pioneer beehive and sego lilies . . .

The Magical Round WIndow in the hall upstairs--now with a pioneer beehive and sego lilies . . .

Looking In At Christmas

Looking In At Christmas

Susa's Winter Trees

Susa's Winter Trees

Wild Bare Branches

Wild Bare Branches

December Sunset Over Susa's House

December Sunset Over Susa's House

Provo: 12.28 / 5:30 p

Provo: 12.28 / 5:30 p

Good night December, Good night 2011 . . .

Good night December, Good night  2011 . . .


Fifteenth Century Poem

LO, in the silent night a child to God is born,
And all is brought again that ere was lost or lorn.
Could but thy soul, O man, become a silent night,
God would be born in thee . . . and set all things aright . . .


December was a month of beauty and fulfillment with a magical night at the NUTCRACKER with my sisters, Laura and Dianne. . . MORAG and TILLIE coming to visit . . . the Family Christmas Party at Jared and April's . . . then Christmas Day! As well as many opportunities to partake of the spiritual meaning of the season . . . and the printing of my mormontimes column in the newspaper Deseret News: "The Love of God--the Most Desirable Above All Other Things."


Susan following the Nutcracker performance, in a chair reminding us of the splendid one in our London hotel

Laura at the Nutcracker

Laura at the Nutcracker

Dianne at the Nutcracker

Dianne at the Nutcracker

Jared and Tillie waiting for Lexi's truly outstanding performance in the ballet Marushka

Jared and Tillie waiting for Lexi's truly outstanding performance in the ballet Marushka

The Happy Family and their beloved star!

The Happy Family and their beloved star!

Tillie in her beloved Christmas Dress

Tillie in her beloved Christmas Dress

Jared reading Scriptures, then a poem from Hayden

Jared reading Scriptures, then a poem from Hayden

Grannie and Tillie by Jared's Christmas Tree

Grannie and Tillie by Jared's Christmas Tree

Three Sisters at Family Party

Three Sisters at Family Party

James and Susan?--in a current photo together!!

James and Susan?--in a current photo together!!

Devoted Cousins

Devoted Cousins

Astrid: our little Angel--Newest Member of the Family

Astrid: our little Angel--Newest Member of the Family

ASTRID! First Christmas . . .

ASTRID! First Christmas . . .


quotes from letter written by Fra Giovanni, 1513:
"No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty--that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it . . . courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home . . .
And so at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you--now and forever--the day breaks . . . and the shadows flee away!

Early Christmas with Grannie and Koppa

Early Christmas with Grannie and Koppa

What's This?

What's This?

New Nightgown

New Nightgown

Christmas Evening at last--after a long and eventful day

Christmas Evening at last--after a long and eventful day

Jared, April, Lexi . . . Beccah, Dianne . . . and lots of magic and Love!

Jared, April, Lexi . . . Beccah, Dianne . . . and lots of magic and Love!

Grannie's Tree and Some of her Beloved Dolls!

Grannie's Tree and Some of her Beloved Dolls!
Of the Father's love begotten,
E'er the worlds began to be,
HE is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source . . . the Ending He . .

Of all things that are, and have been,
And that future years may see . . .


I could not find anything about "ALL HALLOW'S EVE" . . .
so I wrote my own thoughts & impressions, and here they are:

All Hallow's Eve:
The gray night descends,
And the rooks rise up, and an errant breeze
Blows into a cold wind that shatters the sky,
And I can hear dozens of spirits cry,
Shadows that linger like dust in the air,
Or mist in the hollows. And over the moon
An old ghost whistles a gypsy tune --
Or is it a cloud cut the golden orb
Into shards of black ink that stain and spread?
And what is the moaning inside my head?
And what this fear, like a chill sick wave?
And the wind never still, and a new-dug grave,
And a trembling maiden all silver and pale . . .
All Hallow's Eve:
Where the ancient pain
Settles more sure than the stone-dark gloom,
And the voices that call through a thousand years,
And the sightless eyes that still weep their tears.
Why do you haunt me?
And why do I feel
A kinship with all that troubles me here?
What do I long for, just out of reach?
Bleak is the crow's voice along my skin,
So why do I raise my face to the rain?
And let the wind tatter my soul with its breath?
Oh, what kind of Life persists here beside death?

The last dying embers . . .

of All Hallow's Eve . . .

Cheered by Jack 'o Lanterns . . .

Cheered by Jack 'o Lanterns . . .

And a wee turnip man . . .

And a wee turnip man . . .

And the glories of color

And the glories of color

Which the breath of winter has not yet scattered on the breath of the wind

Which the breath of winter has not yet scattered on the breath of the wind


Mairi saw a hooded crow on the Isle of Lewis. I have QUOTH, ragged and ill-used as he is, and chicadees at my autumn feeder, and leaves slowly, oh, too slowly, coming down . . .
ALL HALLOW'S EVE fast approaching. We need wind and gray skies, and a few wild noises to . . . and memories . . . most of all memories, from as far back as we can glean them, enticing them into the reality of This Day . . . .

Approaching the Quaking Aspen on the Alpine Loop, just above Sundance

More Quakies . . .

endless tight rows of them.

White Cadillac poised before the forest of aspens

The most unusual tree I have ever seen, twisting and twining itself around these hard, unsightly rocks!

These struggling to catch deep hold of the earth again, and keep the noble tree alive and upright

Roots . . crawling down the hillside for their own reasons . . .

My Autumn Experience, real and truly lived . . . LEAVES

I can see the shadows of the big leaves
From the plane tree
Before they fall:
Like birds floating over my head --
But they do not fall --
They tumble and careen
On their short ride,
Then skid to the ground,
Trembling still with the
Glorious motion.

Do they look at the sky,
So suddenly far above them?
Feel the tickle of grass,
And miss the rough caress
Of the winds that sway the trees?

They had to let go --
And change --
And relinquish --
And what is left of them now,
Curled and brittle,
And mottled with autumn shades?

Oh, now! Now another magic
Rustles their spines,
And the wind sweeps them up,
Sweeps them up like the litter of fairies,
And in their high, shifting piles
The children of wonder
Wrestle and jump and roll,
And cover their heads with the bright leaves,
And bury their arms and their legs
In the tingling aroma,
And burrow like little moles
Until even their eyes are hidden,
To come sputtering up
New creatures, trailing secrets . . .

And on the paths,
Where the leves lie thick and trodden,
Young women walk,
And push the leaves with their toes,
As they push their dreams,
Laden with an ache and a longing
They cannot explain,
As they hug the glory to them,
And wonder why
They cannot soar with their longings . . .

I see the leaves,
They come one by one,
As we do:
As all things born
For the sake of Beauty

VISTAS . . .

More . . .

. . . and one last . . .

Let Fall No Burning Leaf . . . Let No Bird Call . . .

Nothing captures the feeling of autumn as well as Edna St. Vincent's poem: O WORLD

O World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide gray skies,
Thy mists, that roll and rise,
Thy woods, this autumn day,
That ache and sag, and all but cry with color:
That gaunt crag to crush,
To lift the lean of that black bluff--
World, world! I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
Yet never knew I this,
Here such a passion is as stretcheth me apart:
Lord, I do fear thous't made the world
Too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me:
Let fall no burning leaf, prithee,
Let no bird call . . .

The Splendors of Sundance, beginning . . .

The water was as deep and wild as it usually is in the spring. And the smell of leaf and water was as heady as wine

Pine boughs draping o'er the pathway and filling the air with fragrance

Wildflowers, in the cold, crisp mountain air

Flowers on the bridge, beauty everywhere, and some of the old magic blown in by the winds of autumn

Flowers on the bridge, beauty everywhere, and some of the old magic blown in by the winds of autumn

"An Indian didn't say it, he sang it in a song, and he's never been known to be wrong . . . "

O, Ye Mountains High . . .

Utah CAN hold her own where native splendors are concerned!

the little pumpkin man with crow has long been part of our favorite Halloween friends

new edition of the ghost tree, a Halloween essential

THE OLD GHOST by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Over the water an old ghost strode
To a churchyard on the shore,
And over him the waters had flowed
A thousand years or more,
And pale and wan and weary
Looked never a sprite as he;
For it's lonely and it's dreary
The ghost of a body to be
That has mouldered away in the sea.

Over the billows the old ghost stepped,
And the winds in mockery sung;
For the bodiless ghost would fain have wept
Over the maiden that lay so young
'Mong the thistles and toadstools so hoary,
And he begged of the waves a tear,
But they shook upwards their moonlight glory,
And the shark looked on with a sneer
At his yearning desire and agony.

FARRER SCHOOL -- Transformed, Renewed, Restored--thanks to Stephen!

This posting is mainly for Mairi's benefit, since she has not been able to see the real thing. But I think the details will be of great interest to everyone: the beauty and spirit reach out, and the symmetry and care are lovely to behold!

handsome Man, handsome Car!

A view of 588 we very seldom see: all nestled in . . .

Another -- oh so lovely


Hastening September on her way, I peer into the coming October days, anxious for the glory, color and sense of LIFE which comes with autumn . . .
Hence, in anticipation . . .

"Where there is no imagination, there is no horror"
Arthur Conan Doyle

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night . . . "

"If a man harbors any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost." --Lloyd Douglas

More autumn splendors

Susa's little ghasties, in preparation for All Hallows Eve

my ceramic pumpkin of many years keeping me company whilst I work

A pumpkin to be reckoned with

These odd, delightful little berries found on only a few of my lily-of-the-valley plants. Amazing to behold

Another view

O World, I Cannot Get Thee Close Enough

September 14th was the first show of color on the high mountains -- nearly three weeks later than usual. Red: deep, vibrant spots and splashes, with gray trees marching up the skyline and blue, cloudless sky above. Now the color has spread, red still, but the trailing arms of my Weeping Birch are showing yellow, and the stillness of autumn is creeping slowly in. How has autumn this power to slow time . . . to mute sounds . . . to stop hearts . . .

Tillie and Morag on Skype, talking to Susa

Seen through the green frame of our hawthorne on the right and our London Plane tree on the left: color on the mountains

Mairi in Glasagow as the school year begins!

swallows, another angle

swallow fledglings in their nest

Little Susan: in this one Tillie looks just like her Grannie!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Auld Hauntings, Auld Memories . . . All Hallow's Eve

The month is waning . . . but the magic is building. Last night a wind rattled the leaves across the road like so many brittle pieces of bone, and a patch of gray sky cleared to show the rising moon . . . at midnight, over the mountains . . . and  the wind was cold and noisy, and autumn shook her colored skirts to say, "I am with you at last"!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FARRER RENEWED, RESTORED: Stephen's Masterpiece

I put these photos in mostly for Mairi's benefit, since she has had no opportunity to view this building for herself. But I think the amazing detail will be of interest to everyone: the symmetry, beauty, feeling of this building reaches out -- how grateful we are to have it with so much of the loved past worked in!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another View
                                                      Halloween pumpkin--who can wait

Monday, August 22, 2011


This has been a challenging summer for our entire family. Lots of Chaos, with literally ten birthdays through July and early August -- one being Jared's 40th and another Michael's 50th. KATIE came to visit, and Morag and Tillie with her, waiting for Afton's baby to be born . . . but she would not accommodate! ASTRID came the day after Morag left for Las Vegas. . .

So, here's to the advent of Autumn and more ordered times . . . the first colors on the mountains . . . rustling of leaves on the trees ... whispers and memories of All Hallow's Eve .. .
Jared's amazing bagpipe birthday cake.
 With his little family below . . .

Below is Pretty Katie. These captions are surely confused, but generally intact!

Tillie at her beloved piano and with her birthday wreath

Two Highland beauties

Tillie with her "Koppa"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Home in Utah: More IS To Come

Just thought I'd jot down a brief hello. I am back in Utah now, but have been down with a terrible cold (the legacy of my nightmare journey homeward, I think), so I have not accomplished much. Pictures soon! But I just wanted to check in. Can't believe the New Year is already here, and Scotland five days behind! . . . I think I brought the 15 degree weather along with me. But I'm glad it's milder for Mairi Mae now . . .  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

ROTHESAY: Returning to Our Roots

Oh, if it were not so tedious AND terrifying to get to where one wants to be going! When we made it to Weymess Bay, Scottish side, we parked our car in the queue and ate a quick lunch of scone and soup, then drove onto the large and quite luxurious ferry, and enjoyed the half hour journey to the Isle of Bute. First thing we found was great grandmother's house: £21 Russell Street. Still standing (that sturdy Scottish stone). The place where Janet lived until she was twelve with her sister and mother (Sarah McMurrin) Sarah, born in Glasgow, left the little isle of  Bute with her two youngest daughters, "running away" from her husband who opposed her membership in the LDS Church, hiding her clothes, breaking her fingers when she opposed him by going to meetings. She could not even read,  but she had the courage of her convictions, and  her daughter, Janet, sang in the Tabernacle Choir, as did her granddaughter, Jessie Evans Smith!   We met a charming, gracious man who copied maps for us, gave us discounts, and reminded us of the importance this small island castle held in the days of Robert the Bruce and after. Rich history here, but ancient and "pre-history", and we saw, in the small museum, many relics of many times -- also Stuffed Birds, including English Robins, tiny baby seagulls that look like yellow baby chicks, huge seagulls and ravens -- also a seal, tall hares, and much more.
Outside Great Grandma's house

chapel inside ruined castle

Solstice Walk

Driving through a wonderland of frost and the early shades of a cold sunset, Mairi and I headed to Kilmartin Glen, not minding that we followed a slow truck, for the scenery, with mist and cloud and colors staining the gray lochs we passed by needed more time for reflection than a fast passing through.
COLD. We arrived at last, could not find our B&B, asked directions, were led to the steep entrance into parking behind the old Manse. We were the only inmates, and the landlord was kindly (or jolly, as Mairi would say) and we bundled up again to walk down to the inn to eat salmon salad and venison pie.
Up at out of doors by eight in the morning, gathering with a group of about twenty other enthusiasts to walk to Solstice Path of ancient times: Standing Stones, rare, because of the markings upon them, dating back to neolithic times; Chambering Cairns, neolithic, smaller ones of bronze age.  Much walking in several inches of snow over rough hummocks of grass, with black-faced Scottish sheep to keep us company. Amazingly warm, though slipping and sliding a  bit, with tempt. in the teens. Privy to a full, rich history, more strong in this area than any other in Scotland. The memories kindly made room for us, but the frozen stones were indifferent in their beauty and sturdiness, and kept all their knowledge securely sealed, unapproachable.

One of the first standing stones, so self-contained, is it not? Does it see, or feel, the  sunrise seeping into the sky?
Mairi outside low cist burial.
Fifteenth century grave slabs, wondrous, yes?