“All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Winston Churchill

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Donna's gone

Mom passed away last night. Her body was amazingly strong. She hadn't eaten for a long time and hadn't had any water for quite a while, but she stayed around. Her last really alert day was a week ago Friday. We were all called to her side because she was talking about dying. We all had a great and tender visit with her and she was really involved and funny though maybe a little confused. She seemed to not be sure if she was here or had already passed, but she was happy to be with her family. She gave us very specific instructions about the funeral and was especially concerned that we include everyone. I'm sure she's glad to be with the rest of her family now. We think of Jay and Linda. She told us that Aunt Carol would be excited. We talked about her Dad and Mom and her grandparents. Sunday she pulled herself back and made a heroic effort to talk with Bailey. The next day she hugged Jackson and called him by name even though she didn't seem to know Susan.

I'm not sure when her spirit left, maybe it was back and forth for a time, but she is gone now. I know that she continues to live in the spirit world and that we will see her again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ward Campout at Lomia

Young women have spent many summers at Camp Lomia. Our ward went there again for our annual ward campout. It was great fun and beautiful weather. Too bad for those who couldn't come. The food was good, the company was better. Colleen got to sleep in til 10:30. We had plenty of blankets (and needed them).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Good thing it wasn't a clam

Claire and I went out to Pier d'Orleans for dinner tonight. Adam would have gagged. We both had raw oysters as an appetizer.
By the way, the food there is great.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Girls are dumb

When I talk to young women, I like to tell them that "boys are dumb". And by that I mean that boys generally don't have the self-confidence to take the lead in a relationship. They are lead by their hormones. They will generally do anything a girl wants them to do, if the girl is smart enough to take control. I could give personal examples, but it's too embarrassing.
On the other hand, many girls are dumber. They have something that boys want more than anything in the world, and as long as they control it, i.e. keep it to themselves, boys will do anything for them. But girls fall for the "We don't need to be married" line. We're in love. I love you. I won't love you if you don't let me have it.
Girls need marriage. They need to be respected and taken care of. They don't need to be stuck with kids to take care of on their own. They don't need to be stuck without an education, with no one to help them take care of their kids but their mothers. They shouldn't have to accept any low-life boyfriend who might help them.
Girls need to realize that once they let go of that one thing, it's hard to get it back. It's almost impossible to restore that relationship with that one guy because he has already found out what it can be had for. It doesn't take the supreme commitment of marriage along with all that goes with that. It can be had for something far less. You've heard about the man who offered the woman a million dollars to go to bed with him. After she accepted he changed the offer to $1.00. She protested saying, "What kind of woman do you think I am?" His answer, "I already know what kind of woman you are, we're just negotiating on the price."
Boys need marriage, too. Men are pretty much useless by themselves. It takes a good woman challenging them to be better to get them to do their best. That thing that women have, that men want, keeps driving men to be better, if their woman keeps it just for them.
In some ways, this man/woman thing is way more complicated than this, but in some ways not. If girls don't understand it while young they will give away that pearl of great price before they know what it is worth. They will lose the power they have to motivate boys to be better than they are. And boys, by taking it too cheaply, will never be motivated to be as good as they can be. They will give up missions and education and families.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Mark & I drove over 1,200 miles through the heart of Mexico and did not see one killing or kidnapping. We did meet a lot of incredible people and see a beautiful part of the country.

I picked him up in St. David, AZ where he was working. It was raining cats & dogs. We drove through Tombstone. You know they have billboards there with actual photos of Wyatt Earp, who looks remarkably like Kurt Russell. Bisbee is really pretty with a lot of tall, old buildings. Douglas still has the Gadsen Hotel downtown. We ate at a quaint little place in Aqua Prieta served by a young man who graduated from North High in Phoenix. He said to give our regards to Sheriff Joe.

We followed some double trailer semis through the mountains in the dark through Janos where we turned South. We reached Nuevo Casas Grandes late at night and stayed in the luxurious Paquime Hotel. Next morning we drove out to Colonia Juarez, one of the mormon colonies. As we drove into town, there was a banner hung over the highway which announced, "Welcome Home Elder Ordaz". The scene might remind some people of driving up from South End into Afton, WY. Col. Juarez is a beautiful farming community nestled between hills. There are apple and peach orchards all around and a beautiful Temple on the hill. The architecture would remind you more of Northern Arizona than most of Mexico.

We attended the wedding of one of Elder Brimley's companion's converts, who married a local girl from Nvo. C G. Elder Martinez is a handsome and funny man with a really interesting church history. Mark says he is one of the best missionaries he knows. That night we drove on down to Chihuahua, Chihuahua via Lebaron, the "other" mormon colony. We spent quite a bit of time finding a motel for under $400 pesos a night, but finally found one that did not rent by the hour.

Sat. AM we drove to Saucillo where we met Nora and her family. They showed off the new pig pen they were working on and served us homemade salsa and candy coated cacahuates (peanuts). The countryside there reminded me of Central California. It was a lush agricultural area growing chiles, chiles, chiles, corn, and peanuts. We had a lot of fun with their family and saw the two houses that the dad is building by himself. We then headed back north through Delicias were we visited with several families from the Delicias branch. We just missed the famous Elder Hawkins, aka, John Sena. One of the girls, Hna. Valverde, admitted to us that when Elder Brimley left he had driven all the girls in the branch loco. He gave her the abarozo and told her to hold it over their heads that she was the only one to get a hug.

We drove back up through Chihuahua to Nvo. Casas Grande where we had a Mex Burger. It wasn't as good as he remembered it. Back in Col. Juarez we ran into John Whetton in whose house the missionaries had stayed. He invited us to spend the night (inside in the guest bedroom this time). We had a wonderful evening with John and his 4 boys. John told us that Little Johnny takes after him. John must have had a lot of energy. He also told us about his romance with Jen. That is quite a story.

Sunday morning we went to church at both of the Colonia Juarez wards. What a great tradition of service comes from there. We met a lot of wonderful people in both wards. A few of them even knew that Elder Brimley had gone home from his mission a few months ago, although some wondered why he had a grey-haired companion.

We finished off our trip with a terrific home-cooked meal in the home of Familia Ordaz who were kind enough to include us in their homecoming celebration for Elder Roberto Ordaz. Mark & I drove on home that night.

I cant' begin to tell all the people that we saw and visited with and all the places we saw, but we had a great trip. I've posted pictures on facebook.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nothing to worry About Now

I just read the good news. The murder rate in Mexico is down. So me and Mark have nothing to worry about (just don't read the article too closely). We'll tell you all about it when we get back.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Me and Mark to Mexico

Mark & I are going to Mexico this weekend. He will be working in St. David, AZ, so I will pick him up there and head through Tombstone to Douglas & Agua Prieta. We will travel to Colonia Juarez, through Lebaron to Chihuahua, Chihuahua and down to Delicias & Saucillo. Then back to Colonia Juarez for peaches and church.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Arizona's Recovery Plan--Lower demand & raise taxes

I recently saw a blog with the title, "Summer of Recovery?". I didn't read it so I'm just reacting to the title. For Arizona, I don't think so. We must have the most treacherous real estate market. Repos are still available really cheap, and those fixing them up are facing low and uncertain appraisals.. This makes selling tough and profitability uncertain. Those investors in the market are having to bring lots of cash and facing uncertain liquidity. Homes may remain on the market or go into the rental pool. Cash investors tend to have their capital tied up and leveraged investors are stuck paying hard-money rates. Either way, a demand checked by poor credit, tightened rules, and under-employment keeps prices and activity down.
There are some qualified buyers, but the prices of fixed-up repos are still low enough to discourage new building. I still don't see much of that happening. There is a little bit in areas buyers have found incredible lot deals where they want to live.
Arizona politicians have found a way to help squash the recovery. SB 1070 is working. Illegal aliens and their families are moving out of Arizona taking their spending with them. These people buy homes, rent apartments, and spend money on all kinds of things. Many pay taxes through payroll deductions, sales taxes, and property taxes, just like the rest of us.
I'm all for just laws, but I'm for actually allowing legal immigration. It doesn't make sense just to say, "Let them follow the rules and come legally." There is virtually no legal immigration allowed from Mexico, Guatemala, etc.
To those who say we just want to follow the law, as if being legal were the same as being right, I remind them that until a few years ago there was a law in Missouri which made it illegal for my people to live in that state. It said that "'my people' were an abomination and should be "exterminated, or driven from the state." Should every other state have "mirrored" the extermination order? After all, it was the law of the land. That law worked too. And there was no "amnesty plan", no loopholes to let "those people" stay in Missouri while they got their legal papers. Just like today, there is no alternative to moving out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

South High Drag

I don't think I have many followers, and rightfully so, I hardly write at all and then not aimed at a broad audience. But I hope there may be some response to this.

I went with a friend and visited another friend in hospice tonight. One never knows what to expect, but he was alert and shared a lot about his life. He had a couple of questions that he had been saving up for me. One was personal. He said that when he was younger he had gone out with a nice girl named Donna Brimley (not my mom). I had heard her name recently and I think she is one of my dad's cousins, a daughter of Uncle Verne. I asked him if he had attended South High in Salt Lake, which he had. Of course then the obvious question (to one of Jay Brimley's children) was, 'Do you know the South High Drag'. His answer, the perfectly reasonable, 'Why yes, that's the only steps I could do. One, two, three, step.' It all made perfect sense. We always thought that was something our dad made up. I don't think so.

If anyone reads this and knows anyone from SLC, I would sure like to hear anything they know about the South High Drag.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Door & Trim Store

I haven't mentioned any commercial activities, but me, Chris McConaghie, and Armando Orona have had a door shop going for about 3 years. It is "Aztec Door & Trim, LLC", but since we moved into our new store at 821 W. Broadway in Mesa, AZ, we have called it "The Door & Trim Store".

We sell all kinds of doors and mouldings way cheaper than the big box stores and we specialize in Knotty Alder doors. Armando's wife, Sonia started a fan page over on facebook, so if any readers are on facebook, go and become a fan. If any of you are in Arizona, come on down to the store and see us, and save some money on your remodeling or building. (That building comment was for anyone who remembers what is like to build a new home, you younger readers ask a parent or older relative)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Choose the Right" and "What would Jesus do?"

This morning I read David French's blog on Evangelicals for Mitt . He wrote in gratitude for some of his relationships with Latter-day Saints. Among other things he said,

"It's strange, but the instant I learned they were LDS, I knew that we would be brothers -- and we were. I like to think that maybe when they learned who I was and what I'd been doing with EFM, they knew they had a friend. And I know they loved me and supported me in a way that's difficult to describe."

I responded as follows:

Dear David,
First of all, congratulations on having the sense to pick such an outstanding wife. I have sent her book as a Christmas present to a daughter. She is obviously generous, hard-working, and talented.

I understand with you the fallen nature of man. As the Book of Mormon puts it, man became "carnal, sensual, and devilish". But still, we are lucky to have a shorthand outlook to know a persons' background and moral compass (if they are following what we know they have been taught.) As mormons, we can know that fellow mormons have been taught to love and serve and try to follow the Savior. We know they have been taught to be chaste, specifically that any sexual relations are to be with ones' legal and lawful spouse. We know that abortion is not an option. We have many other moral positions in common.

I rejoice to stand politically with you and fellow evangelicals who work hard to support traditional family values, freedom, and morality. As you lamented, some of the denominations have chosen other paths. How does one know?

That is one of the beauties of the LDS church. Its' leaders have consistently stood for morality and personal freedom. They have consistently testified that God lives and that Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. One can know that if a mormon takes a position in opposition to traditional family values he does so on his own. Certainly there are nuances. One can, and should, love the sinner, while hating the sin. But a mormon cannot call evil good, or good evil without being against what his church stands for.

I return the thanks. Thank you for your military service. Thank you for your battles in the courts. Thank you for taking the stands that you have taken in EFM for not only religious tolerance, but for actively defending my faith.

Our battles cannot be with fellow believers in Christ, no matter our differences. Our battles are against thrones, and principalities, and powers of darkness. When it comes to fighting evil, CTR and WWJD should be on the same side.

Stan Brimley

Saturday, January 9, 2010

True Love

"Du Blave", as Max said in "Princess Bride" means, "to bluff". Farmboy Wesley was obviously saying "true love", an inspiring and powerful motivating force in the world. I've had the opportunity now as bishop to perform four weddings. They were all motivated by true love and the young couples involved have great hopes for the future. I counselled each one to remember the love they felt that day, but to depend more on their commitment to keep their covenants than to count on 'true love' keeping them happy. We all go through periods of up and down in our feelings for our spouses. That does not mean that we do not love them, but it can be distracting and allow the temptor to entice us with younger and happier, or freedom, or whatever we may be vulnerable to.

This morning I had the opportunity to assist in vicarious sealing for time and eternity. The power exercised there and the promises given reminded me of the weddings I had performed. Those weddings were beautiful and provided an opportunity for great expressions of love and commitment. Covenants were made and happiness and joy are in store for the couples involved. What struck me this morning were the promises that were not, and could not, be made by me. There was no promise of sealing power extended through the eternities, no blessings in the celestial kingdom, no promise of family associations in heaven, no intimation of eternal increase. Still, those who make marriage covenants these days are to be commended, and prayers should be extended that the light of Christ may yet lead them to the Temple.