101 Feelings Of Joy And Inspiration From My Life

101 Feelings Of Joy And Inspiration From My Life

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I hope you will enjoy my 101 feelings of joy and inspiration from my life today. I was born in 1950, I will save you the math, I am 67 years old as of today.

I know people have been writing about what they are thankful for recently, but today it’s all about joy and inspiration.  I was born in California and have lived a fairly simple frugal life since the day I was born.

I was 18 months old when my birth father was diagnosed with Polio. He was in an iron lung for many months. My older sister and I were farmed out to relatives since my mother had to quickly become the breadwinner.

Sometime later, my sister was diagnosed with the same disease but didn’t require an iron lung.

In case you are really young, the picture below shows what an iron lung looked like when my father was placed in one to help him breathe. Polio causes paralysis and is an infectious disease that in some cases was fatal.

Luckily, my father lived but had health issues for the rest of his life. My sister beat the odds and recovered without any ill effects from the disease.


Here’s the deal, I had a rough childhood, but life got better. So let me share my 101 feelings of joy and inspiration with you. My parents divorced and luckily I had a second chance with a stepdad.

I really do not like that word, stepdad. He raised me and life took a few curves but I learned to work, to have fun, and laugh. I love to laugh. Those who really know me, know I love to giggle. It’s how I roll.

If you started out with a rough life, you can change your destination, I promise. I did.

Listed below are many life events Mark and I have shared together as we’ve been on this adventurous journey together.

I hope you can grasp the highs and lows, the learning experiences, and the challenges we as a family have survived together. It has been fun highlighting key events that have changed and added to our lives.

101 Feelings Of Joy And Inspiration

  1. I was born to a wonderful mother, Erma.
  2. I had several sisters, yes my mother specialized in girls and I did too!
  3. I remember my 4th-grade teacher named Mrs. Okelberry who loved me, I was a shy little girl.
  4. I played the accordion, after all, we are Norwegian.
  5. I went roller skating or ice skating at the rink with my sisters and my mom all the time.
  6. I learned to square dance.
  7. I learned to sew.
  8. I learned to cook from scratch.
  9. I learned how to preserve food.
  10. I learned to make bread.
  11. My parents took us up to the mountains every Sunday to cook breakfast and feel the fresh air.
  12. We got a black and white TV one year, oh my gosh, and sound came out of it.
  13. We had a telephone party line, we shared, you know the phone that hung on the wall. We would have to check in to see if the phone was available to use. We shared the phone line with another family down the street.
  14. I went to high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. We had riots my senior year. The funny thing is I learned to be humble that year. I could smile at my “friends” when no one was looking.
  15. I saw the “Beatles” perform, we had to stand on chairs and everyone was screaming with joy. So was I.
  16. I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when I was 18 years old and rented a bedroom with my sister in a house from “Mrs. Thomas”. She always made the best dinners that made us smile every night. Looking back, this probably helped her pay her bills. I’m glad I lived there.
  17. I was lined up with a few blind dates. Oh my gosh, I came from Las Vegas where my high school friends smoked Marijana (I never did, I hated smoking of any kind) to this town of young men looking to marry someone ASAP. LOL!
  18. I said I no longer wanted to be lined up, but then I was lined up with Mark, yep it was love at first sight. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.
  19. We dated for about three months, got engaged, and married about six months later.
  20. We lived in an apartment for a few months and bought an entire house full of furniture from a couple who lived across the street from Mark’s parents. The couple died within a month of each other. Their kids came in and took all the small family treasures, leaving the rest of the furniture for sale. We sold my 1968 VW for about $800 and bought a house full of furniture for that same amount. We were able to fill our little basement apartment with all those items. We got a small kitchen set with four chairs, a dining room set with a buffet, table, and eight chairs, a living room set with a couch and loveseat, and a bedroom set with a double bed, dresser, and two small end tables. What a find!
  21. One year later, we bought a house for $18,400.00 with interest at 7-3/4%.
  22. Six weeks before moving we had a daughter born with dark brown hair. The deal was if she was a blonde we’d name her Lynette, the name of a special high school friend. If she was dark-haired her name would be Allison, the name of one of Mark’s high school friends. She was born looking like a Native American child so Allison it was. Funny, but six weeks later she lost the dark hair and has been blonde ever since.
  23. We bought a used crib and painted it white. I had an old dresser I grew up with and we painted it white to match the crib.
  24. We bought a used car, we could only afford one car because Mark was going to the University of Utah and working part-time to support us.
  25. He took the bus to school and worked two jobs so I could be a stay-at-home mom.
  26. I babysat kids to help with our monthly expenses.
  27. Mark graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in finance.
  28. A few months after graduation we had our second daughter.
  29. Mark continued working two jobs to make it work so we could have a house and a garden.
  30. Mark shot a deer with his buddies and brought it home and hung it up in the garage. We cleaned it ourselves on the kitchen table. I can’t eat deer now, nope never.
  31. Mark started as a coin wrapping clerk at a bank, then as a teller to get through school with zero debt.
  32. Two years later we had a third daughter.
  33. Mark got a promotion at the bank and we had to sell our home and move to River Heights, Utah. We doubled our money from the first house sale and that allowed us to purchase a brand-new home.
  34. The day we moved to River Heights we drove up Sardine Canyon in a severe snow storm and I had white knuckles on that blue station wagon steering wheel. Mark was driving the U-Haul ahead of me.
  35. We moved into a wonderful neighborhood with awesome loving neighbors.
  36. Our home was on a half acre.
  37. We had a huge garden.
  38. We grew strawberries for the neighborhood.
  39. We had our fourth daughter about three years later.
  40. We made great friends in River Heights / Logan, Utah. Joy.
  41. I worked at a Bernina store part-time, this is where my love for a good sewing machine began.
  42. Mark worked two jobs in Logan, Utah. He taught people who wanted to be bank tellers how to be good at their jobs.
  43. Mark got a promotion and we moved back to the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
  44. We sold our home in River Heights, Utah about six months after moving. Scary times with two house payments.
  45. We bought a home in Bountiful, Utah. Joy.
  46. We sold that home because the street in front of our house was very busy. We bought another home on 7th Avenue near downtown Salt Lake City. Joy.
  47. We lived there a couple of years and sold that home and moved to Sandy, Utah. It was on a neat street and we made many friends. Joy.
  48. Then we bought a home in Farmington, Utah. Joy.
  49. The night we moved into this home, the floods of 1983 flooded Farmington and Bountiful, Utah. Our home was okay but we sandbagged many homes and made new friends shoveling mud out of their damaged homes.
  50. We made many great friends in Farmington, Utah.
  51. We bought our first used ski boat. It was a 1979 18-foot open bow Sea Ray. The girls and I learned to water ski. Joy.
  52. We sold this home and built a new home in another subdivision in Farmington, Utah. Joy.
  53. We boated with our friends the Materns and other families as well.
  54. I spent too much time cleaning my house, looking back, now.
  55. I went to work for a bank because all the girls were in school and I felt I needed something to do during the day. Guess I’m a “type A” person. Wanted a part-time job, but came home and announced to the family I’d be working full-time.
  56. Our girls worked at Lagoon (an amusement park) and other fast food places.
  57. As they got older and needed transportation, the girls each had to pay for their cars, some of which did not have air conditioning or a radio. But they had a motor that could get them from point A to point B.
  58. We tried to go to Disneyland every couple of years. Joy.
  59. I was asked to be a manager of a grocery store branch at another bank.
  60. Three of our girls graduated from Davis High School.
  61. Three of our daughters met their future husbands in Farmington, Utah.
  62. We had three weddings in 18 months. Expensive joy.
  63. I was asked to work in Salt Lake City with an office in two branches of the bank.
  64. We moved to Cottonwood Heights, Utah rather than have both Mark and me commute 25 miles to work.
  65. I started my mortgage company. Joy.
  66. All my daughters worked for the company over the 15 years we had the company.
  67. My awesome son-in-law helped me run Priority Mortgage.
  68. I was inspired to buy advertising by a good friend for the mortgage company.
  69. We took the whole extended family to California to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. OJ Simpson took his famous drive down the CA freeways while we were there.
  70. We sold that home and moved to Riverton, Utah. Super joy for me since I wouldn’t have to negotiate those second-story stairs.
  71. I “adopted” several grandchildren in that neighborhood. Great friends and memories.
  72. We bought the home we have today in Southern Utah as a second home.
  73. We sold our Riverton, Utah home about five years after buying our second home. I wanted to get away from the snow.
  74. Mark semi-retired.
  75. I semi-retired.
  76. I had both my knees replaced within two weeks of each other. Difficult recovery, but have joy in walking without pain.
  77. I started teaching classes about food storage and emergency preparedness.
  78. I taught classes at kitchen stores on how to make bread, cinnamon rolls, tortillas and so much more.
  79. I started my blog.
  80. My first grandchild graduated from high school.
  81. Our third daughter graduated from Utah State University.
  82. I was asked to write a book. Humbling joy.
  83. My book was published, inspired by coaches and friends.
  84. I hired a life coach, Lyn Christian of Soul Salt, Inc.
  85. Mark started his own company. Inspiration and lots of joy.
  86. Our second daughter graduated from Brigham Young University.
  87. We went to Tokyo, Japan to watch our granddaughter perform as Belle, Snow White, and Ariel for Disney.
  88. We had a semi-family reunion in Newport Beach, California for Thanksgiving. Super joy.
  89. We had more grandchildren graduate from high school.
  90. We have grandchildren traveling the world.
  91. We have grandchildren performing in musicals.
  92. We love the climate and beautiful red rock landscapes of Southern Utah.
  93. Mark plays golf twice a week with a group of about 20 great friends. I encourage him to stay involved with the physical things he loves since his body still works.
  94. I really miss my Riverton friends but have made some special friends here too. I’ve found retirement to be very different than what I expected and what you see depicted on TV and in the movies. Days can get a little long with less to do to fill the time.
  95. I do a lot of research on the Internet as part of my time to write appropriate things for my blog.
  96. Mark is involved in the local Exchange Club. He loves the association, friendships, and community service projects.
  97. Mark stays busy with his calling in the church. He loves his stewardship over the young children and teenagers too.
  98. We enjoy hearing from our granddaughter who is serving a church mission in the Seattle, WA area. She returns home soon and has had a life-changing time for the past 17 months.
  99. We enjoy traveling to visit the kids and their families. Each family is in a different stage and set of circumstances. We appreciate them wanting us around to share experiences. Having 17 grandchildren is a true blessing in our lives. Each one is different but brings us joy in so many ways.
  100. We struggle to watch family and friends age, face health challenges, and succumb to ill health and accidents. Having two sisters-in-law make the move to assisted living quarters has been a real eye-opener and motivation to eat healthy foods and work to simplify our lives by disposing of the “stuff” we have. I don’t want my kids to have to deal with it in case something happens to Mark or to me.
  101. We cherish our lives together. Although we have many different interests (I don’t golf and he won’t frequent Starbucks), we have traveled to many exciting locations, loved raising four beautiful daughters, try to support the grandkids and their various teams, schools, and events. Life is so good!
Read More of My Articles  Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store

May you look at the joy and inspiration in your life and look at the good you have done for others. Life is what we make it. May God bless this world, Linda

How To Make Bread by Linda

My book “Prepare Your Family For Survival”

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    1. Hi NancyJo, life has brought us a few curves we weren’t expecting but with all the negative news going on I wanted all of us to think about the joy in our lives. Thank you, Linda

      1. Love you back! If I don’t “talk” to you again before then, you and Mark have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

    1. Hi Patricia, thank you. We have had a few curves in life we were not expecting, but I want all of us to think about the joy we have had in our lives. Happy Holidays, Linda

  1. Happy Birthday, Linda, I loved reading your 101 feelings of joy.  I also played the accordion, not a real popular instrument, but I loved it !!!!

  2. Happy Birthday! I’ll be 72 on Jan. 1st and can’t believe so much time has passed. Then I catch a glimpse of a little old lady in an unexpected mirror & smile when I realize “It’s Me!” Loved your list of joys.

    1. Hi Linda, I’ll be 68 on January 26th. I have to tell you a funny story, my brother-in-law went to his 50th year high school year reunion a couple years ago. My sister and her husband walked into the place where the party was and they said, “wow these people look old”. Several have walkers. LOL! We all look old. Now we look at ourselves in the mirror and realize like you said: “it’s me”!!!! Life can bring us many ups and downs, but let’s think about the joys. Hugs, Linda

  3. So enjoyed reading your life journey. What impressed me was how everything was a highlight, no lowlight. Today so many focus on that and miss the glimmers of blessing and touches of joy sprinkled in even the ordinary things of life . These are often the most precious. Although I am sure there were times that were less than stellar what shines is …you! You are a joy and we appreciate you and your sharing from your heart. Although we may never meet this side of heaven I count you as a special friend. Sometimes the internet is such a blessing and this is one of them. A blessed, happy and sweet holiday season to you and the family!

    1. Hi, Violet, you made me cry in a good way. Your thoughts touched my heart with love. Mark and I have had a few sad moments but we get back in the saddle so to speak and not look back. Life is good and comments from people like you mean so much to me. We have never met in person, but we can share joy together. Happy Holidays, my friend, hugs! Linda

  4. Linda… sounds like our lives parallel in so many ways!!!! I loved hearing about you and how your journey has brought you to this place in your life! I love your Joy moments and how you have chosen to react in joy in spite of circumstances. May God continue to fill you with His love, peace and joy as you minister and encourage so beautifully through your blog!! By the way, I made your roll recipe with the Bosch and LOVED how they turned out! Merry Christmas!
    Deb Samson 

    1. Hi Deb, oh my gosh, I’m glad you tried my roll recipe! It’s truly a no-fail recipe! I can almost smell them baking! LOL! I love my Bosch, oh my gosh, it’s awesome! Thank you for your kind words, it means so much to me. Hugs! Linda

      1. Linda…I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday!!! I got my Bosch and Nutri Mill several years ago and having NEVER made bread by scratch I was terrified!!! I remember so vividly crying at the demonstration at the Preparedness Store just knowing “I could never do this”…and at the same time not believing I would actually be fulfilling one of my dreams!@!@ Truly a defining moment in my life!@! Thanks for your encouragement to prepare…I’m hoping to get some of the blue water in early 2018! Have a wonderful Birthday Season the rest of this month!!!!

        1. Hi Deb, you are so cute!!! I loved teaching bread making classes. It’s actually easier for me to make freshly ground whole wheat bread because it takes fewer ingredients. But there are some meals you have to have white fluffy dinner rolls. Oh and white fluffy cinnamon rolls! Happy holidays, girlfriend! Linda

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey. I got my sun oven for Christmas . I can’t wait to try it out.  You are an inspiration  to me.  Thank you for all you do to get us prepared. 

    1. Hi Lois, oh this is wonderful!!! The hardest part for some people is just taking the Sun Oven out of the box. If you have vinegar and water you can get it prepared before you need it. You will love it. Happy holidays, Linda

  6. Thank you Linda for such a great post of joys and inspiration. We all will have times when life isn’t what we might have expected but we can CHOOSE to focus on things that have brought us joy. I often find that these are some of the moments centered on the small things. We moved a little over a year ago to AZ and enjoyed 34 years in one place but we left that behind to focus on this new “season” in our lives. The move to our 55+ community has been such a blessing for just a time as this. It has been a real joy to greet each day. My husband and I are going to celebrate 35 years together this month – – – and that is a real blessing. Have a wonderful birthday, enjoying the relationships, the place you now live and the “season” you are in. You won’t pass this way again. Every day of life is a precious gift. I love what I learn from you. Received my Volcano stove this past week!

    1. Hi Carol, thank you so much for this wonderful comment!! Yay, for the Volcano Stove! I was asked to speak at a community that was a 55+ community a few months ago on preparedness and food storage. After I sat down I told my husband, we are moving here!! I could feel the energy in the room, it was so fun!!! Congratulations on 35 years of marriage! You two rock! Happy Holidays, my friend, Linda

  7. WOW!

    I sent the link to a Pastor friend of mine. I told her it would be a great challenge for her to present to us. Thank you for sharing the list and in the process humbling me a bit.

    1. Hi Wolfbrother, you are so kind! Thank you for sharing the link with your Pastor friend. It’s so crazy I wrote it because I wanted people to know life can have its ups and downs and but we need to think of the joy. We never know whats going on behind the front door of home down the street. Happy Holidays, Linda

  8. Oh Linda, this was such a joy for me to read. I know we haven’t met but I feel like I know you !:)  Life is indeed a road with some bumps and some smooth parts as well. I believe when we look back we will see the real joy of our life and realize even the bumps have brought us blessings. My best to you, and a hug if you’re a hugger.

    1. Hi Rita, oh yes I’m a hugger! I’m hugging you through the internet! Life does indeed give us bumps but it’s rising above them that brings us joy! I love comments from you! Hugs! Linda

  9. Linda, we haven’t met , yet I feel like we would be friends if we did! Our lives parallel in a lot of ways. We grew up when times were different, I in the 40’s -50’s, they were good years. I was born in 41. Married 55 years and mother of two wonderful sons, grandmother of two granddaughters and two grandsons. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband. Anyway, I am thankful that somehow, an email came from your website and I found you. I think that I’ve always been a prepper, only I always called it stocking up for ‘just in case’. But I have found many good ideas from you. I live in eastern Oregon desert and in the winter no one can ever guess what will come, but we can count on the wind, always. I am doing my best to be ready for what may come. So again thanks. Have a Merry Christmas and blessed New year! Lynda

    1. Hi Lynda, oh, we would be friends for sure. I was born in 1950 and married 48 years. We have 4 daughters and 17 grandchildren. You know you and I are so much alike because I stocked up “just in case” long before the word prepper came along. Now, some people call themselves survivalists, I don’t care for that word.I just want to be prepared for the unexpected like I have for the 48 years! LOL!! Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year! Linda

  10. Oh My Gosh…you’re Norwegian too, like me. I KNEW we had alot in common! LOL. Happy Birthday!
    My husband is from Virgin, Utah, but has family in Bountiful, and all those places you mentioned, I’m totally familiar with. I love to visit Utah but am glad we don’t live there. Reno suits me just fine. I, however, love the snow; can’t get enough of it. Must be the Norwegian in me. ;o) We just got back from Disneyland and yup, got trapped on I-5 for hours with that fire…13hrs to get home from an 8hr drive. All I could think of was what I “didn’t” have in my vehicle that I should have. We were prepared to sleep in the SUV if we had to.
    I always like to read your stories; they’re comforting. My husband and I have 9 children, 19 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. We’ve been “prepping” long before it became a “thing” and I will forever be glad of all of the life lessons I’ve had. My family came over from Oslo and Bergen, Norway and managed a huge cattle ranch in Montana. My mother married a farmer from Georgia so I know how to do things most city people never learned. I can hunt, shoot game, clean it, and package it and yes, like you, I never want to eat deer ever again in my life. yuk.
    As I’m writing this, my towels are freeze drying on the clothesline outside and I’ve got other clothes hanging up on those wonderful racks from Lehmans in the sunny back bedroom. I’m glad you liked your Prairie Pin Pouch…LOVE mine!
    Continue the good work and know how many of us out here love to hear from you and learn from you. You’re an amazing woman! Happy Birthday again!

    1. Robbie, we may be related!!! I’m glad you mentioned the fires and the 13-hour LONG drive. Wow, I am so antsy to redo my car emergency kit. I have like three bags and an ammo can, and I can’t find anything. Well, I can but I have to open all the containers. We only have one small Honda CRV (great car) but I need to be able to find stuff faster. Isn’t it funny we were prepping before the word prepping became a “thing” is so true! I may do a giveaway with one of the pouches. I am working on some giveaway ideas right now. I love those!! We both love Lehmans!!!! Thanks again for your awesome comments, they keep me going. Hugs, Linda

      1. I have a new Honda Pilot Touring (anniversary present from my wonderful husband) and I LOVE it! I’ve always had Accords but they’re so low and I’m old, I can’t get up from sitting in them anymore!

        That drive home was scary; I have video of the fire burning right alongside my car. I feel so bad for all those people. Fire is one of my biggest fears. We face them alot here in Reno/N. Nevada. AND, I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, Ca and know where all those fires were there a couple months ago. [shudder]. I always have a cooler with drinks and snacks but there are so many other things one needs to keep in the vehicles. I’ll need to look through your blog for more suggestions. It’s good to get suggestions from multiple sources as there are so many other “ah ha” ideas one doesn’t think of. I’m so glad to have found your site.

        1. Oh, thank you, Robbie, you are so nice. Oh, I would love a Honda Pilot. Mark and I were driving up north a couple years ago and we had small fires burning on each side of I-15. Luckily we got through before the fire started melting the road. It was scary, we could see smoke but had no idea as we rounded a corner that the fire was so close to cars. The highway patrol and fire department arrived shortly after we got through. I can’t even imagine the fires in California right now. It’s scary and so sad for the families. I have a pretty comprehensive list for the car but I add to it when I have an “ah ha” moment, too! Linda

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