I have had the opportunity to try many different jobs in my lifetime. Some I loved, others were great stepping stones.

I heard a man just recently say something very similar to this and it really struck me. I had never really thought about how working for others is building their dreams. When this person talked about it, they said they’d rather work 80+ hours a week building their own dreams rather than just 40 hours a week when it’s building someone else’s. My husband has always felt the same way, and I feel quite similar as well. I don’t think it’s bad to work for someone else. It all depends on what your dream is. Maybe you like the flexibility of only working 4o hours and then having the rest of the time off to go do other things. I know a lot of teachers, and one of the reasons a lot of them teach is so that they have the summers off with job stability through the rest of the year. I think it really depends on what you are looking for in life. But I don’t mind working the extra hours for myself or my husband so that we can take time off any time we want to go help, watch kids, whatever the case may be, we don’t answer to a boss so to speak.

I was also reading through the prompts on my blog site just to see what they had in there and I found several very interesting ones. This particular prompt was asking what kind of jobs you had held in your life. That is also an interesting thought to ponder as I have had many jobs where I worked for other people and myself. So I thought I would tell you about some of the various jobs I’ve had over the years.

The first paying job I had I got at the age of 15. It was at a little frozen yogurt shop called Yogurt Junction. It is no longer in business, but I had fun working there for the most part. Originally there were many teenagers working and it was a fun place to be. The original owners then sold it to a new family and it was still fun, but they had less and less people working there, until we had to work our shifts alone. This always made me a little nervous as we were open until 10 pm and it was not a well traveled area in the evenings. My mom would often come and sit in the back booth and read while I finished my shift and closed the shop. I was always grateful she was there. They eventually went out of business.

After that I applied for a number of jobs that didn’t pan out and finally got hired at a Long John Silver’s that was just being built not far from my parents home. I worked there a total of 2 shifts, and had to talk with the manager to even get that much time. They had hired way too many people in the beginning and a number of people besides myself didn’t stay past the first couple of weeks. Interesting enough, they weren’t there very long either, I guess not a big enough town, or not as many people interested in their menu. Now they might have a shot at making it there as the population has increase quite a bit.

About that time I also met my husband and about 1 year later we got married and moved to Alaska. I spent 5 years working on and off for him and learned quite a bit about the construction industry. Intermixed in that was subbing at our local elementary school as well as volunteering there. I enjoyed the elementary school in the winter as it was warmer than where my husband was working! But in warmer weather I really did enjoy being outside quite a bit more.

About 5 years after we were married I became an EMT with the local ambulance and simultaneously got my phlebotomy and EEG certification. Working for the ambulance was one of my favorite jobs of all time, and if I ever went back to work for someone else, I would seriously consider doing that again. I also enjoy poking people with needles, so phlebotomy was fun as well. About the time I finished my phlebotomy class I found out I was pregnant. Consequently I never got a job as a phlebotomist, but that’s one I would consider doing again as well.

While I was pregnant with my first child I worked at a pharmacy. I had a pharmacy tech I certificate, which is basically a cashier but with the ability to handle some medications. I worked with some really awesome people at the pharmacy and really enjoyed my time there. When I gave birth to my oldest however, I decided to quit and stay home with her. Because more than any other job in the world, I wanted to be a mom first and foremost, and I have never regretted that choice.

I had 4 kids in 5 years and stayed at home until my youngest was about 4 years old. A job opening for a recess monitor at the elementary school opened up and I decided to apply for it. I was able to get the job and worked there doing recess as well as subbing, because once you’re there, they usually need people last minute. I quite that job the next year to work with my husband again for season when our last child went to kindergarten. But after that job and over the course of the next 10 years I subbed or volunteered at the school almost every day. The money was nice to help pay bills over the winter when my husband doesn’t have as many jobs. I had a number of people tell me I should go back to school and get my teaching degree, and I believe that had I done that I would probably have easily gotten a job there. But after subbing for years, I knew that really wasn’t where my heart was once my kids left and I decided to pursue other things.

About that time is when I started to learn to paint. After a couple of years I decided to try selling my paintings and had some success. I have been trying to be self-employed ever since. It’s been harder than any other job I have ever had (except mom). There have been many success, many failures, many tears and much joy in the process. I have learned how to create a website, learned so much about how search engines work, learned a lot about marketing (although I’ve only scratched the surface on that). I have developed new products over the years like note cards, stickers, guitar picks, puzzles, shirts and fabric panels for quilts. Some I still sell, others have gone by the wayside. Some I still want to sell, I just need to figure out how to get them made cheaper or how to make them myself. I have also written a couple of books that I’ve self published.

Over the years I have learned that I am not the type of person that can do one job, one career that does the same thing over and over again, for the rest of my life. I would probably go insane. I love variety, and I love that working for myself, or at least trying to do so, gives me a chance to try new things, everyday if I so choose. All the jobs I have had over the years has had an impact on who I am, and I am grateful for what I learned from each one. I am especially grateful for the people I met along the way. I debate all the time if I am doing the right thing, going the right direction, but I really do enjoy working for myself, and the variety. Making money with it all, that’s a different story, but I’m working on that too, every single day.


Are there moral absolutes in society? Do I have to be obedient?

I don’t know why some things come to mind randomly, but this comic strip came to mind this week along with thoughts about why we have rules in society and religious commandments (that used to be part of the rules of society) and the results of obeying or not obeying the rules.

We live in a society today, that thinks there are no moral absolutes. We also live in a society that thinks they can make up rules or choose to change rules and commandments simply because they don’t want to live them or because they want to be disobedient but feel like they aren’t being so. These people are loud and persuasive in our society and seem to be upheld by many in our government agencies today as well.

When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, as well as after they were removed from the Garden, they were given commandments to live by. These were upheld by some and ignored by others of their children, much like we see today. When the children of Israel left Egypt these commandments were given to Moses by the Lord and we know them today as the 10 Commandments. There were other pieces of the law not practiced today, and many celebrations and feasts still practiced by the Jews today. But the 10 Commandments have given direction and protection to Christians and Jews the world over for centuries. You also find evidence of similar laws in other Non-Christian religions all around the world, but why that is so, is a discussion for another day.

God’s commandments, as well as good rules of society are not restrictive in nature. They are there to protect us from ourselves in some cases, and from others in many other cases. We have seen in recent years, and especially after 2020 an increase in the rates of depression and anxiety among other mental illnesses. I 100% know that there are chemical imbalances that cause some people’s depression and there are a number of other psychological disorders and diseases that come from problems with chemical imbalances and other physical infirmities. Those need to be taken care of with a health professional. But there is also an interesting increase in disobedience to God’s laws that cannot be overlooked.

I personally think that our spirits know right from wrong. We chose to be here, to have a chance to gain a body and knew it would be work to get back to our Heavenly Father. But part of the plan was to gain this physical body and learn how to conquer the physical appetites and passions that are associated with that body. We knew that coming here, even if we don’t remember. We were blessed with another gift when we got here as well, the Light of Christ, that helps direct us while here. The Light of Christ, often called our conscience, helps us know when something is wrong or we are about to do something wrong. However, we can also ignore that light long enough that it diminishes and finally extinguishes within us.

I think that when we start doing things that go against what our spirits know to be right, it creates an inner turmoil between physical body and spirit, causing physical problems that express themselves in various manners. I think that is where the increase in depression and anxiety in our society today comes from. I also believe that, as we are living in the last days, we are starting to experience the calamities foretold since the world began. If we have chosen not to listen or be obedient this time in the world’s history was predicted to be, and will be, scary for those not being obedient. But, if we are prepared, spiritually and physically, we have no need to fear. But that means we have to be obedient.

I choose to put my trust in my Heavenly Father. I have anxiety, and sometimes it is associated with not doing what I knew was right in the instance, sometimes it’s simply part of life. But as I have learned over the years, I have opportunity to repent and to try a little harder to be obedient. I have also seen that as I am obedient, the Lord helps me even when my anxiety is not associated with transgression, simply with what is happening in the world around me. I am grateful for 20/20 hindsight because I can see I have grown and changed over the years. I have learned to be more obedient, and as I have done so I fear less and trust more. As a consequence, I see help all along my way from the Lord, because He has promised us that as we follow Him, He will help us. I know that to be true.


Focusing too much on the details of my paintings can make me think I have ruined them, life seems to be like that too.

Often when I am painting I have to get up close to my paintings to see the details. Sometimes I get so caught up in the details that I start to be extra critical of a single brush stroke or a particular section of a painting. This can be very discouraging as I sometimes think that I have ruined the painting. Case in point, this eagle below I almost threw it in the garbage.

I painted this while I was visiting family in Utah. At the time I was hyper focused on the background not working correctly, and the individual brush strokes in the face, feeling like either there were too many or they were in the wrong spots. My mom on the other hand saw a beautiful painting. Consequently, she has a beautiful eagle painting. Stepping back from the painting, and days later however, I had a new perspective. Instead of seeing small details, I saw the whole picture and realized, while there are things I would change about the picture, like the color of the background, I really did like how it turned out overall.

Often in life we tend to hyper focus on the details and forget to look at the bigger picture. In my Church we talk about having an eternal perspective. Remembering that this life is temporary and that there are greater things to come if we try to live a good life here. That’s quite a long outlook, and can be hard for people to fathom. But I find that even looking 5 or 10 years into the future, deciding whether what we are doing currently will impact our future, is a great way to stop focusing so much on the little details of every day and to get out and live life to the best of our ability.

When my kids were little I would go to bed discouraged sometimes, because I focused so much on the things I hadn’t gotten done, or the incidents throughout the day where I could have handled a situation better and didn’t. But when I could step back and look at the good things that happened, or how well my kids behaved when we were out in the world, I realized I must be doing at least a little better than I often thought I did. Some of the observation has to be the 20/20 hindsight as well. Sweet memories created help me to see the good that was created and the fun we had and continue to have, and I find that I don’t remember the little things I could have done better anymore as I observe where we were and how far we’ve come.

Life can be hard, there are little things we do need to focus on in our day to day lives. But stepping back can often give us a better perspective, help us adjust course as needed, and see how far we have actually come. There are no perfect paintings, at least not in the eyes of the painter, but when we step back and look at the picture as a whole, it becomes beautiful. I encourage you to step back and observe, it might just make all the difference.


My blog dashboard has blog idea prompts and I enjoy reading through them. Sometimes I get ideas from the prompts, most I never use, but some are thought provoking and make me think for a while. Today’s blog is a result of a prompt from last week that I have thought a bit about.

The question was: are you a leader or follower? I thought quite a bit about that because I have never thought of myself in either position and yet have been in both, and depending on how those are used they each come with positive and negative connotations. After having thought about it, I have realized that we are either one or the other most of our lives and we need both in this world.

Through my Church I have had the opportunity to be the leader or “president” of a number of organizations since I was a young adult. As well as sit on and chair community boards. I find being the leader can be a great position to be in when you have a clear direction you want to go and followers who catch your vision and will help you make it happen. It’s also great to have trusted followers willing to advise you along the way so that you can maintain a good perspective. I have found it helpful as the leader to surround myself with followers with different talents and perspectives. This helps to create a well rounded program that helps the greatest number of people within the reach of that particular organization.

I have never considered myself a follower in my narrow definition of someone who blindly agrees with anything to fit in or be part of something. That’s what I think about when I think follower. But as I’ve pondered I realized I have been a follower in many different capacities. I’ve had the opportunity to sit on different boards and participate in many presidencies as a follower or councilor. Just as described above, I’ve had opportunity to catch someone else’s vision and help make that happen as well. I’ve had the opportunity to also strive to follow in my Savior Jesus Christ’s footsteps, and while my path has been a crooked path because of imperfection I still try to follow to the best of my ability.

I think this world needs good leaders as much as it needs good followers, and needs people on both sides willing to listen, council and discuss hard things and come up with great solutions together. Being the leader is great because you have the final say, but the buck also stops with you, and you take upon yourself the most responsibility. Being a follower is great because you are not ultimately responsible for the final decision, but sometimes things don’t go the way you’d hoped because you don’t get to make the final decisions. I believe in this life we should have opportunity to be both. As we have that chance we develop character and compassion for each position. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to be both and for the positive character building experiences each has had in my life. Which do you prefer?


I did not write this Amazon review, but I do have to agree, this has to be one of the best reviews I have ever read! I would definitely be taking this woman’s experience into consideration when thinking about durability and wear on an item like this.

Do you read the reviews on products? Do you write a review on products after you have purchased them? I have to admit, if it’s not an exceptionally good or bad product, I rarely write a review for anything I purchase online, unless that person specifically contacts me and asks me if I would be willing to do so. That’s if it’s a small business. Something like Amazon I wouldn’t write anything except for the above mentioned reasons.

However, I do read reviews quite often when I am looking at purchasing items. Even if I’m purchasing an item locally, especially if it’s expensive. I rarely read the 5 star reviews however, I always go to the 1 or 2 star reviews and read why people didn’t like the item. About half of the those reviews don’t have anything to do with the product, usually dealing with the shipping or gripes with the company, I don’t think those are helpful. But if there’s a consistent issue with the company or the product it usually shows up there.

I also like the websites that compare similar items. When I was looking for my large format printer I looked at quite a number of different comparison charts to see which models were the most consistently at the top of the lists. Once I settled on the ones I was pretty sure I was most interested in, then I started reading reviews on a number of different platforms as well. This is where I start reading both the good and bad reviews. Often a bad review will have a problem that a good review will actually have the answer to. My laptop was that way, with people complaining about several problems and people elsewhere sharing what they did to fix the problem easily with various updates.

Reviews are helpful to read, and I should probably write them more often. Sometimes they aren’t just informative but quite entertaining as well. How many of you read and/or write reviews? Do you find it helpful?