Musings defined: ponderings, reflections, meditations, contemplations.
I aim to share experiences, past and present, with the goal of learning and appreciating what life presents.

Monday, 29 August 2011


The theme for sacrament meeting talks Sunday was love.  Dave Maller effectively introduced and concluded his talk with a quote from a letter written by a recently deceased political leader.  Dave said he did not necessarily agree with his political views, but he did agree with the concluding paragraph of his letter,
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."  I agree too.

Love is the all-encompassing value that defines successful relationships.  In the bible in Matthew 22: 35-40, the Saviour was asked by a lawyer what was the greatest commandment.  The Jewish religious leaders spent much time debating this question.  The lawyer thought to catch Jesus in a conundrum and make him look bad in front of the crowds.  Instead He replied that we must first love God, and then our neighbours as ourselves. 

Love God, self and everyone.  This is not something most of us will accomplish while on this earth, but it is worthwhile working towards.  I appreciate that a politician writing a letter three days before he died of cancer, identified the importance of love in his life.  Put into action, love becomes service to others: mothers sacrificing their time for their children, fathers working and playing with their children, and all of us helping those less fortunate with many kinds of assistance and with a listening ear.

Love is an action word.  This action brings inner rewards of joy and satisfaction of knowing we are making a difference in the lives of others; even a positive difference.  In this world of challenges and diversions, I am glad we have God's word in the scriptures that reminds us of the path that brings us happiness - to recognize His love and return it, and to love those around us.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


I learned the word "procrastination" while still very young.  Now I have developed procrastination to a fine art.  I just finished reading an entertaining "Mommy blog" at .  Not until I spent an hour reading the blog and comments and anzlyzing the blog did I realize I just spent my precious writing time doing the easier thing of reading.  Yesterday I promised myself that I would at least start to dig out the grass where my friend is going to build a deck in front of the house.  Instead I read lots and got caught up in watching TV; all the time hoping the few drops of a shower would turn into a torrent so I would have a good excuse.

I'm glad everyone does not have this problem of procrastination or nothing would get done in this world.  I'm glad I don't put things off all the time - like I am writing this blog right now.  I love retirement.  Lots of freedom.  When Hensie phones up and says, "I can get only Thursday off so can we go to the Armstrong Fair then?", Carroll and I can say "Yes, what time would you like us to pick you up?"  When Sianne is getting baptized we can say we will coordinate our coming to the temple at the same time.  When my new friend says he would like to go kayaking with me my first reaction was, "Oh you have to work during the day don't you.  I'm available only Tuesday or Wednesday evenings."  We are going tonight.  (His wife is encouraging this because she bought him the kayak and he is not using it as much as she would like.)  So not digging the grass out is not so much avoiding exercise (I even enjoyed aquafit/watercise yesterday morning), as it is committing to this project that I do not feel confident about.  Saturday morning I phoned into the garden show for advise but didn't feel comfortable with Don Burnette's answer so I phoned his usual partner at home (on vacation?) and said, "Can you pretend this is Saturday morning and I have a question for you?"  He was very gracious and agreed to use his expertise as a landscaping expert to tell me what to do.  No more excuses. 

 One of the problems of retirement is that I always have tomorrow.  A very active friend of ours, Traudi Kane, surprised me when she said in her sacrament meeting talk that an enemy of retirement is the seduction of comfort and ease.  I agree.

No more procrastination.  Right after breakfast I dig up six by 21 feet of the front lawn.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Happiness in family life is...

Family happiness is fun, fun, fun and good food.  Our family reunion was a great success.  My anxiety beforehand was totally unnecessary (like most anxiety is).  Just like I knew it would be, everyone had fun talking, teasing, tearing off on bikes, and toasting a great family.  The reunion was not without its moments of quiet, tenderness, sharing, singing, and mayhem.  I like what the Proclamation on the Family (1995) says about family:  "The family is ordained of God...Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."  While the last aspect was the most obvious at our reunion, ie recreational activities, I believe the other values underlie the good relationships of our family.  We missed the presence of our youngest son and his wife and daughter.  They are an important part of our family too.  Maybe next time.

Literally thousands of photos were taken.  How do I choose what to display?  I'll pick some just a little different.  We have many hams in the family.  Most of these photos were taken by Rebecca and can be seen in the book I created on line at Blurb.  To see a 78 page book of photos and comments of the family reunion of Michael and Carroll Jensen, click on the link below and see, "The Jensen Family Reunion, July, 2011" or translated, "Happiness in family life..."

Click on PREVIEW.  Once you have the book, I recommend you click on the bottom right hand corner box with the arrows going four directions for a full screen view.  Enjoy.  So for a little sample.

Havie loves to take pictures.  She is looking at photos Rebecca took while Isabella and Tali look on.

I was glad to see my new ping pong table was a big hit.  We are also a competitive family.

 Amelia is a wonderful aunt.  Just ask Sianne.
A couple of months ago Esther started gathering materials for the TV game, "Minute to Win It", a bit hit.

The photo/video I most regret not having is of about ten of our family who sang in our church meeting on Sunday.  They sang harmony for the hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" so beautifully it brought tears to my eyes.  Jennie organized that.  Darius and his son gave talks/sermons in sacrament meeting as well.  Others offered prayers.  Later a friend of mine said he has never seen so many members of one family participate in one sacrament meeting.  Always nice to receive compliments for the family.  But Darius in his talk told some lies when he gave the impression his parents were perfect.  However, I am glad he remembers the good times.

  Learning to work will be of great value

Glad daughters and granddaughters volunteered to feed us.  Some unsung heroes are the husbands of our daughters who pitched tents and looked after children and washed dishes.  Love them all.

While most of our children weren't interested in learning piano when their mother taught them, they are more into it now, like Sarah.

I am glad Isabella likes my water feature.  Just as the right height too.

Many quiet moments to share.

Hensie brought her Japanese student to see what a Canadian family looks like.  So our family keeps on expanding, one way or another.  Hopefully our influence is for the good as we try to live the values and principles that bring happiness. 
Final thought:  FAMILY is not easy, it does involve sacrifice; but it is rewarding and it is worth it!