"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Mother’s Hands

My Mother’s hands laced with blue
Have done most things that women do
Infants tended, clothing mended
Cooked the food, stayed level headed
During strife, days full and rich
Pulled life off without a hitch
Grumpy, mean and not so nice
I can’t think of one sacrifice

When my hands mirror hers
With memories blank or blurred
Will children see the things I’ve done?
Remember laughter and the fun
Smile through tears, don’t have a frown
I will not let my guard come down
When opposite I try to be
Not like her but being me

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Children's Sight
My children have heard of mountains high with running babbling brooks
But the only ones they have seen were in borrowed library books

My children have heard of animals wild in lands both near and far
But the only ones they have heard growled behind a zoos' strong bars

My children have heard of flowers sweet, growing thick in shades of red
But the only ones they could find grew in the rows of plant nursery beds

Prisoners of the city, as sure as they can be 
Though their cells are never barred or have a lock and key
How can I teach of God's wisdom or his deep abiding love?
When all they see of his kingdom is a hawk fighting with a dove

But children's sight is special, just journey through their eyes
The things we think are gloomy don't ever touch their lives
Try to catch a sunbeam, laughter at the bug trapped in a tree
"Mommy I can't see you, that means you can't see me."

Grass up through the sidewalk, flowers from a crack
Squinting at the clouds while lying on their backs
Rich or Poor, no matter, as long as there is love
They feel the light and blessings that come down from above

Joy in life and living and thanking Him each day
My children teach a lesson, and in a special way...

If we could overlook the bad and see as children do 
 Our days would be like heaven and sad times be but few

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Few More, & PC saga

Just reporting back on a few more temple construction items. I read my last post and realized I didn't mention that I took upwards of 300 pictures a day. Then downloaded them and inserted them into reports and the books that I wrote. 

Kevin, the owner of 3 Knolls Publishing did a lot of my editing...(I have issues contractions.)  I'm grateful to him for his help and cherish our friendship.  I discovered that many of my pictures couldn't go into either of the books. The books did not focus on individuals but many of my favorite pictures were of the men working. I was impressed with their dedication and skill. While working in the basement at first there were no lights so they were often in shadow. Those became my favorites. Each day it seems I remember something special that makes me appreciate my blessings more and more.

So many people who are younger than us seem to be so old. I think it's because they retire and sit. 
We fill every second with activity so we can fall into bed each night exhausted. Yesterday we planned our Sunday school lesson. We are teaching a class of kids year about the Bible.  We try to help them understand the truth and guidance they can receive from understanding the teachings in the scriptures.  In the afternoon re drove to Tucson to a Mariachi contest and concert. Young people in bands competed and we were able to see the winners in vocal, dance and music. Then the audience was treated to the LA Angel Mariachi group. Everyone in the amphitheater was whooping and whistling. This morning we got up early to take grand kids to a local park that has a large pond for a fishing.  Of course the only ones catching fish were the kids. Eleven year old Becca was the winner catching two...Yea for her pink fishing pole!  

A PC for Bubba 

Mike and Mom wanted to build Bubba a PC
We thought with our know-how it'd be very easy
After 7 trips on the freeway to computer part Frye's
Where they handed us both a bucket of lies

We toasted some Ram and a few Gigs too
So back on the freeway we flew
We stayed up real late, what we thought would be cake
Turned sour at midnight with a mother-board bake

The NO-English-Speak guy from Taiwan
Kept telling us "Talk Louder, GO ON"
"What does the Bios say?" was his constant cry
"Buddy, the screen is black!" was our repeated reply
He gave us no help from his long distance spot
and the system kept running too hot!

We folded, yes folded; We a-Team two
and decided no dud would be coming to you
So we went to the pros, gave them specs for a beauty
And they bargained with us for the duty
So late though it be, just you wait and see
It's with love from the Mike y and Meeeee

Friday, April 27, 2018

I've been gone for a while.

I've been gone for a while living in Tucson. Patrick, my husband, and I have been serving as missionaries at the Construction of the Tucson Latter-day Saint Temple. As missionaries one of the things we did was take care of the men on the site...which meant we participated in all the worker orientations and made sure the rules such as "no-foul-language, no music, no spitting, no marking on any of the building materials," etc.  My other main responsibility was to write the history of the LDS church in Tucson, and keep the records of the various stages of construction.
I had never worked on a construction site so needles to say the task was daunting, especially since I was the only woman allowed access to the site. We even had a chance to be a part of the Mormon Battalion re-enactment at "Old Tucson Studios. I had fun but Patrick did not like wearing a wool suit when the temperature was over 110 degrees. I can hardly blame him!

We met the most interesting and wonderful people it was difficult to leave when our job was completed.  Hopefully we can have the opportunity to work at another temple construction site. Right now we are getting knees fixed and replaced so we are in tip-top condition to give it our very best.  I hope to keep writing. After having my own 610 page book printed and adding about 250 pages to another book on the temple which mostly no one will read. I now am compiling my poetry which I started writing in 1968 to the present. I have my completed novel, "Treasure of the Chiasmus Cipher", and two of my student nurse murder mysteries completed. Working with publishers can get grueling at best! It may be that I will be under the sod when anyone gets a chance to read them.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Airport Blues
Flight travel is a tricky game at best
With Airports like armed camps and everyone distressed
The line to start your journey begins at the curb
You gather up your bags and start to feel absurd
For no matter how carefully you pack they are overstuffed and full
As you drag them to the counter looking quite pitiful
“That one weighs too much,” a uniformed man says with glee
So you re-arrange your underwear, out there for all to see                     
The worst insult comes as you stand in a winding line
And worry you’ll miss your flight even though you arrived on time
With cavalier sluggish movements from the man in charge up front
Who treats each person as if he’s on an insurgent weapons hunt
Frail old ladies are patted and searched while the wide-eyed children cry
Your head is screaming on the inside, but outside you only sigh
For they study passengers as if doing biological research
Your placed in front of an x-ray for the stripped full body search
You think one day you’ll die of radon and the Twinkies you adore
And then you’ll emit a blinding glow from L.A. to Baltimore
Is it worth the hassle that continues during the flight?
“Buckle-up don’t move, no bathrooms,” the gestapo isn’t polite!
You sit between the large man who’s flesh oozes into your lap
And the stinky guy on the other side uses your shoulder for his nap
So drive to your destination and avoid such worry and distress?
Even if it takes longer than taking the Airport nightmare express?
Consider this next time your on-line and plan to reserve a seat
Even with high gas prices, driving yourself can’t be beat

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stale Piece of Pie 

Sometimes life is a stale piece of pie
Sometimes people only think of “I”
Sometimes all I get are the crumbs
Sometimes I just sit and twiddle my thumbs
All I get are leftovers, dried out tired remnants
I want to make you a coat of cement
I should be happy with what I got
But I’m not! 

“Broken hearts and dogs that die”

Broken hearts and dogs that die
Lonely days and men that cry
Seems to be the theme of most
All Cowboys who play a tune, or sing, or boast

But it was never sadness or tragedy endured
That called those men to the west or cajoled them or lured
So why sing of the horse with the rock stuck in his shoe?
Is it so hard to croon of meadows damp and sparkling with silver dew?

Why do Cowboys think each tale should be loaded with distress?
 Writing or singing of happy days does not make a story less
To capture listening ears who said the story must be sad?
Or demand you tell of loneliness or conditions that are bad

Let people hear of the joy you feel with wind upon your face
Or when you wed your sweetheart in her gown of ivory lace
Don’t spread the lie and say your life is only pain and woe
And set aside deceitful words that echo over radio

For just this once please tell the truth; you live the life you love!
With prairie as your pillow as you gaze at stars above
I know you have a secret, it’s the one you won’t betray
The mysteries of the universe are in the Cowboy Way

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

“Naked Came the Bruce”

I guess as we get older lots of things about us change
Like how we look and how we think and we get mighty strange

I’ve noticed as my days and years quickly pass me by
Some things the elder generation does, leaves me to shrug and sigh

The eyes are most the first to go and with that a fashion sense
And if you make a small comment, you're met with impudence

"That stuff don’t match!" you mention, just to help a longtime friend
"The red and orange with that pink, it kind’a doesn't blend."

"You mind your manners" you are told, "I am the one who knows."
"I've been on this here earth much longer than Old Joe Blow."

The smell and taste are next to go and follows really fast
So enjoy your food while you are young, for it ain't gonna last

But, the ones who lose their modesty have really gone too far
Cuz naked folks ain't pretty when their teeth are in a jar!

"It shore is hot," Bruce said to me as he greeted at the door
He reminded me of the story of the foolish Emperor

"Come on in," he beckoned, just like nothing was amiss
He seemed to take no notice of his bare butt nakedness

So I went in and sat right down yet kept my eyes averted
We talked about the recent news, and other things we'd read

He wiped his brow and settled in on the couch of Naugahyde
And I wondered how to make a running break for the safety of outside

Then later as I pondered life and all that it can bring
I know that for a certainty, I beg you do this thing.

“GET OUT THAT GUN, AND SHOOT ME QUICK!” if I wander in my skin
Cuz it ain't pretty...not one bit, not even if it's kin.


My mom was a terrible cook; I think that’s why I was so thin
On Fridays she made us fish cakes much to my young chagrin

She covered the lumps with stale-crumbs, till they resembled turds from a beast
The smells made my young stomach do flip flops and detest attending the feast

Each meal started off with a blessing. Good thing! It would keep down the gag
I would secret each mouthful of foodstuff to stash in my made ready rag

When I saw the can of fish waiting to make into swill upon the counter top
I tried to encourage my friends to invite me over for a meal-time stop

And when no one was around for rescue from my Mom’s culinary disaster
I learned to change to my favorite dress, and do it faster and faster

This dress pink and red was adorned with eight pockets all over the frilly front
It was perfect to hide the nasty fish slop in its unappetizing chunks

Then into the waiting compartment, to save me from eating such mush
And off to the bathroom I’d run, and include all the cakes in the flush

I guess to this day I should thank her for keeping me healthy and trim
Because she was no good in the kitchen, during schooldays I was quite slim

“True love”

It’s always been my question though it’s never crossed my lips
Why all the stories of the hard won West
Never mentions the ladies or their difficult test

Now we all know men are made of puppy tails and snails
But the women who chose to love those men were loyal courageous females

They bore the daughters and sons of the men who homestead and tamed the land
And gave up their youth their beauty their souls and all the rough life demands

I know the tale of one of those gals taken from family comfort and all she knew
She married a cowboy, who until that time, lived alone with his dog named blue

In her ruffles and lace she beguiled this gent and they married in a whirl
He had no idea of her sacrifice made when he wed the city girl

But she loved him so she never looked back or longed for her childhood home
Most days she spent in the rough wooden shack on their homestead all alone

At first her cooking efforts were much like slop or swill
But he never complained or said negative words for he loved and cherished her still

How He longed for the bread like his mamma once made covered with berry jam
Then one day the aroma of baking came out when the swinging screen door gave a slam

“Now dear I knew you could do it” he cried as he hunted high and low
“I know I’m smelling fresh bread, did you hide it where did it go?”

“I have no idea of what you speak, just sit down and eat this meat”
“My skill with four does not exist so don’t plan on baked goods make of yeast.

His puzzlement grew when he saw on top of the stove a small pot of vegetable stew
No biscuits or rolls and his bride covered in flour with her apron all eschew

Then later that eve he gave grain to the cows and saw there hidden and flat
The sorriest loaf he ever had seen, brick heavy and much like a mat

A smile crossed his face as he thought of his dear
Trying to please him with home baked fare

And he loved her the more, never mentioned his find
for you and I know that true love is blind

Heaven or Hell

Days drift by in numbered succession
We work to buy another possession.
Routines of life burns the candle low
There is another world beyond this I know

Break through the fog and into the light
Open wide the cracks, escape from the blight
How to emerge from the darkness and gloom
And not remain trapped in an earthly tomb

Do what's right, set aside your fears
Keep your chin up and smile through your tears
Patience will bless us, with affliction we'll grow
Set aside temptation, for we reap what we sow

Yet for sure Heaven or Hell waits for us all
And there is one who gleefully wants us to fall
Or you can turn to Him who loves without condition
Looking over all, pulling us back from perdition

So turn back from temptation and go to the light
In your heart you feel and know what is right
Prevent the loss of your soul to utter destruction
There’s no joy in ruin or eternal damnation

For He knew long ago the mistakes we would make
And gave us the grand plan for us all to partake
He waits at the gate, arms wide to embrace
His countenance is in you, it shines in your face

One Hour in Church

Can I dance the wool from my brain as this hour begins?

Concentration is nonexistent so watch the big-cheek baby grin

I drift to wonder; do I have more sunsets behind me than in front?

Can I make this time count, so my rent on earth is paid?

Will I find the flakes of gold, from the small make something great?

Why does the man who spoke for just a minute make more sense?

Than the one with words abundant, voice thumping like a fan

I drift back to the babies’ cry, a hard chair, and wonder who I am?


but father we are afraid
our mansion, more grand than others
must be bought with coin of pain, sorrow, and sacrifice
will we be strong, will be worthy?



I am putting my poetry from 1966 to 2018 into a book. Here a a few for you to read. let me know if you like them. Pat

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Helen Left the Building!

I Think we all feel guilty when our parents pass away; for what we did; or did not do.

When the Doctor recommended Helen to be put into hospice I decided to get permission to leave my missionary area to make a visit. I could leave our assignment for an emergency but wondered if it was really necessary to travel to California. I had been there the previous month and Helen was eating well and was her usual complaining self. I hesitated to ask for the leave. as I  remember my friend Dee's mom was put on Hospice and she survived for three years. Tim my brother said, "Help mother manage her money. She's not going anywhere until she's 105.

I began to wonder if this was going to mark the end, or would my mom cling to all that she knew and reach my brother's prophecy. Mother was stubborn and a tough woman in many ways. I did not really believe this would be the end. I  thought that she would hang-on for a long time. But I drove to California anyway.

This time my visits with her were good. Not like some of the contentious ones previously where she was angry because she didn't bring her sewing-machine. This time, over a period of three days, I had 7 or 8 excellent short visits. I learned to be brief. I knew that for the first ten minutes she would make sense. Then she would get angry and start yelling, or talk about crazy things, or be paranoid or drift off asleep in the middle of a word. It was also best to keep the visits short so I could go to the hotel and gird my loins for the next salvo of conversation bombs.

In between talking to my mother I spent time reading and signing all the papers to set her up in hospice. I was hoping this would help pay for some of her medications...even diapers, so that her little pot of gold would last till she was the designated 105 yrs.

I understood her paranoia to some extent. Things had disappeared! Her flip phone was gone within a week. AND she wore it in a case around her neck.  This loss made me particularly sad because I knew she felt isolated. But on the other hand she had led an isolated life...maybe it was more sad for me because I couldn't call and find out how she was doing. I had to wait for one of her caregivers to be kind enough to call me on their phone. 

The few pieces of jewelry I didn't sell I left with her at the care facility. I wanted her to enjoy her things but on several visits she told me to take rings and watches home. "I know they must come in when I'm sleeping and take my few nice things." I left some pieces of costume jewelry and these disappeared. She wore a silver charm necklace that Timothy bought for her on one of their cruises. She never took it off and clung to it desperately. On this last visit she was not wearing the necklace. I didn't ask her where it was but looked through all her boxes and night table. I couldn't find it. 

When I left on the last day, I kissed  her and reminded her that this was her early birthday visit. "Mom, I'll come back in late October." We hugged. She felt so thin. While driving away, my thoughts said, "This is the last time you will see your mom." I pushed the thought down and away. "No, she will live to 105, like my brother said."

The Hospice nurse called me every week, sometimes twice a week to tell me all they were doing for my mom. The thing they stressed was that they were managing her pain. This made me so happy. Since I can remember my mom, Helen, has complained of pain. She was allergic to aspirin and many other pain medications. As she grew older her childhood Scoliosis and Osteoporosis and Kyphosis (dowagers' hump) ruled her life. The last 6 or 7 years she sat sideways. Timothy would say, "Mom, sit up straight."

Patrick, Rebecca, Megan, Mike, Grandma Helen Pat the Mom, Pat the Dad...colleen is missing...

I think the last time we all had a get-together was in 2014. She was a good sport and we loved teasing her.

Two weeks after I met with the hospice nurse and had all the paperwork in place I got a call around 4 in the afternoon. The nurse who did the initial evaluation said "Your Mom is failing, you may want to come see her. "Should I leave right away, I'm in Tucson?" I asked. "No, don't drive all night, you'll be fine. Start out in the morning" he suggested."  "Okay, I'll be there by noon." 

Another call came at 6:00 am. I was already three hours from Santa Clarita as I had left the house at 2:30 am. "Are you on the road?" Doty the nurse asked. "Yes, I'm more than half way there." "Good," he said, I think this may be Miss Helen's time." "I'll be there soon,"

 At 7:00 am, my daughter Colleen called. "Mom she's gone."  "Are you there with her? I asked. "I didn't know you were in California."  "I'm here visiting my boyfriend and had the funny feeling I needed to visit grandma.  When I came in the room I said "Hi Grandma." The nurse at the bedside said after she heard my voice she took her last breath.

In two hours I was at the bedside. I saw my mom looking thin and pasty, and obviously dead. I kissed her on the cheek. They had called the mortician at Glen Haven Cemetery. They came with a green gurney, picked her up and whisked her down the hall. "Bye Mom. Say Hi to Dad." 

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

 Helen in Hospice:  Ruth, Helen, and cousins
  • It has now been almost a year that my mom, Helen, has lived at Pacifica assisted living. I selected this place to be near my brother as he has been her care trustee since I moved to Gilbert Arizona. The weird thing is that even though in the past he had made mother breakfast and visited her every day, when I moved her to Pacifica, he never saw her once. By that time, I think he was consumed with pain and despair and the realization that his life was coming to an end. On one of my last visits to see Tim he had his best friend, who was a lawyer, come over to help transfer Helen’s executor responsibilities from him to me because he knew the end was near. After putting up a valiant fight with cancer, the outlook was grim.

  • Before that day the hopes were high that after his Whipple Procedure he would fully recover. I remember taking him out to lunch and telling him, “You know we have planned on serving a mission for the church and I want to know if you will be okay to still care for mother. I will pay for her meals on wheels if you can take care of Maria’s charges. (Maria came in the afternoon and stayed for dinner and put Helen into bed.) Although Helen said “I like Todd to put Me to bed because he gives me a big hug.” But sometimes she did not remember who Todd was (her grandson) and said “There are Two Todds, one nice, one not so nice! “Tim and I talked about a lot of things, but not dying or death. He avoided the topic, the same as my dad the last time I saw him when he was at Motion Picture hospital. At the end of our talk on that day, Tim said “Don’t worry, I got this.” I had a friend who recovered from pancreatic cancer and prayed that Tim’s optimism would help his wishes come true. Not so. and after a short time he didn’t have much energy left. No patience for mom’s complaints, or demands or orders to do something or other when he was trying to cope and hurting.

  • So there we were signing papers turning Mother’s finances over to me. Patrick and I had already made the commitment to serve as the missionaries to the construction of the Tucson Temple and felt a bit overwhelmed at my dual responsibilities. So I was trying to do the duty of caring for my mother like I hope my children will care for me. Mother has been cared for all her life, often by me, so why not now too…

  • I called a good friend in Santa Clarita and asked advice about Helen’s finances. I was somewhat reluctant to discuss this matter with her and was happy to take his advice. “Do nothing, but get her account down to under $150 thousand.” And I plan to do this ASAP. I did not want to talk to her about having the money transferred to me as a trustee due to the fact that often she became paranoid, blaming everyone for taking her things and her money. 

  • Sometimes her conversation was a bit bizarre. After Tim passed away late December with the funeral in January she got even more confused. All her friends have died and all relatives, including her son, are also gone. I am the only exception. So she calls me Ruth, her sister, who passed two years ago, and even Lou-la her friend who is also gone. And she refers to my husband Patrick as Dad (Herm her husband,) and also Tim.   Patrick Hiking...

  • Sometimes she even gets me messed up with her crazy reality. “I’m in Palm Springs and the pool is a mess. The boys are not taking care of this house.” Rather than argue I said, “I’ll call Todd and make sure he can get out there and clean the pool. Don’t worry.” I decided to go along with her confusion to see if that was a better choice…rather than be yelled at! But the outcome the same. Manipulation, whining, demands and guilt, the gift that keeps on giving. And how can I blame her for now her world is down to a room with her few remaining things. (At least the few things she has left that the staff have not stolen.)          

  • But I am pretty sure she is better off than my brother-in-law Don who is in a convalescent home in Kanab Utah. Last time my daughter visited he told her not only is a good pal of John Wayne, but he is also a Doctor. He told her he was a gynecologist and does "Lady exams." Then he explained..."call before you come here next time and make an appointment as I am very busy." She called us and said "He is completely off his rocker!" 
  • Back to mother...she is losing weight even though she eats everything they put in front of her. She can no longer stand or bear her own weight. She must be lifted out of bed by two care givers. The doctor is putting her on hospice which is end of life care. She already has a plot next to Herman her love of over 50 years who died 20 years ago. 

  • I have decided that when we get bad…Patrick and I. We will fly a plane upside through a barn so we can leave this world together and blazing on to heaven! Of course first, we’ll have to buy a plane and a barn. But heck I refuse to spend my last 20 years alone. Maybe that’s why Helen is so nasty…naw she’s been unpleasant for 99 years. I tell my husband that’s why I’m such a sweetie so he has a lot to thank Helen for, and maybe just maybe so do I.