What a beautiful family I've been blessed with. We had a family get together on the 18th in Northern California. We were missing six family members for various good reasons, but here are the rest of us:
Nov 7, 2017
Oct 15, 2017
It's been a year since part of my heart moved into Heaven. I've had a lot of ups and downs this past year. Special friends have been kind and supportive and family members incredibly caring. A friend loaned me a book, "We Shall See God" by Randy Alcorn with devotional thoughts from Charles Spurgeon. This paragraph was comforting to me:
"I'm standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She's an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other. And then I hear someone at my side saying, "There, she's gone."
"Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in ME, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she's gone," there are other eyes watching her coming, and there are other voices ready to take up the glad shout, 'Here she comes!' And that is dying."
Sep 6, 2017
I talked to my former neighbors who moved to Arizona in March. They were so very helpful during Bill's illness. Their precious and sensitive standard poodle named PJ was a very special little being in my life at that time. She seemed to sense my grief and was extremely protective of me - pulling her mom to my house before she would go on a walk, just to make sure I was OK. Here she is waiting for me to let her know I'm OK.
PJ was 12 years old. She developed an inoperable tumor and passed away last month. I am sad!
Aug 14, 2017
I'm from Dixie, as we say here in Southern Utah - some of the pioneer families assigned to settle this area hailed from the South and possessed the necessary skills to grow cotton and establish a community. Paying homage to the nickname of their former home, these settlers called the region “Utah’s Dixie." And now I'm looking for Dixie!
That said, my current genealogy puzzle is locating the husband(s) of Dixie D. Barton, born in 1916 [grave marker is incorrect according to obituary found in a 1916 paper] in Arkansas, married in Oklahoma in 1936 and again in Montana [her grandparents spent some time in Montana] in 1937 to William H. Cacy. Since her maiden name was Barton, but her headstone in the Pleasanton, California cemetery gives her name as Dixie Johnson Sorensen, it's my belief that after marriage to Mr. Cacy, she was married to a Mr. Johnson and then to James Sorensen (the name of her husband at the time of her death, per her obituary). She died 30 November 1962 in Pleasanton, California. It is possible Mr. Johnson was Forrest Alexander Johnson, going by his burial record.
Fun puzzle. Hope I can find the answers.
Aug 1, 2017
On July 29th, I attended the graduation of Devil Pups' second increment at Camp Pendleton, California. It was my first year of Devil Pups without my Marine. It was a bittersweet experience - Bill was honored in several ways and I heard from several Marines how much they respected him. At the graduation ceremony at Camp Pendleton a new annual award was given to the Pup graduate who exhibited the most persistence and it comes with a $200 cash award. It is to be called "The Col. Bill Toole Award," and I was honored to be the first presenter of this award.
We graduated 10 pups this year from St. George - and one of them, Alena, earned a Physical Fitness Award, for reaching the perfect score of 400 (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and a mile run). She is our first female award winner and the third in 10 years of SoUtah Devil Pups.
Mar 28, 2017
Feb 15, 2017
My first Valentine's Day without Bill since our marriage. Shannon is here visiting, which helps a lot. Friends Cher and Darrell brought a candle with a red balloon, Mike and family sent beautiful iris and day lilies (he always remembers my favorites) and Mark from Spilsbury surprised me with red roses in memory of Col. Toole. How thoughtful was that? I miss Bill a lot - I miss holding hands - and I miss his unwavering love and support. In his honor, I presented the Devil Pup story to the local D.A.R. chapter on Valentine's Day. Bill would be pleased that the D.A.R. members made donations to the Devil Pup program.
Dec 25, 2016
For several years I have had the pleasure of playing preludes for Calvary Chapel St. George's Christmas Eve services. It's a wonderful time of celebrating the meaning of Christmas and I love to be a part of it. Here are some PHOTOS from some of these celebrations.
Dec 23, 2016
Around 7:30 the doorbell rang. I was surprised to find a Devil Pup from 2011, Kelsy, and her dad. She’s at BYU in Hawaii now but was home for Christmas and wanted to bring by a Christmas gift and wish me a Merry Christmas. These kids continue to surprise me. We had a great chat and she promised to stay in touch. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Kelsy.
Mariah (who is serving in the Navy, see below), Col. Toole,
and Kelsy (studying at BYU, Hawaii).