Fitting In or Not Fitting In? Living in Utah

Recently our local newspaper did an article about those who aren’t LDS and how difficult it is to fit in when you aren’t part of the predominate religion. Today while my daughter Jessica and her kids were here and my home health nurse which is also a friend were discussing the article. Since we aren’t LDS and my home health nurse Heather is, it was an interesting conversation.

vacations-to-st-george-utah-1030x634The title of the article is “Does LDS culture ostracize those who are not part of it?” Basically, the article is talking about how those who aren’t Latter Day Saints or a part of “The Church” or the Mormon Church, that they have a harder time fitting in and making friends.  There are many things mentioned in the article that was true for us.

This is Warren Jeffs wifes. They are from my area. But, I found out after moving to Utah that it is the FLDS that are Polygamists, not the Mormons. Who in their right mind would want this many wives anyhow, lol. My husband says 1 is bad enough lol. 

When we first moved to Utah it was very difficult. Not really for me, but for my daughters. We moved to St. George in 1995. When my husband was offered a job as a truck driver, they asked us to come check out St. George. There was NO WAY I would ever move to Utah. My reasoning was because everyone that lived here was Mormon and they were all Polygamist. I have to say that I was proven wrong pretty fast. My husbands work wanted us to come check it out since he had to be in town for orientation.

After a week here, I could see why this was the perfect place for us, minus the religion. We knew absolutely nothing about what Mormons believed and didn’t believe in. While we were checking out this city that we now call home, we were able to find a place to live and little church and a new life. We moved here from Phoenix and I have never regretted moving here. But, it wasn’t really easy fitting in. It was a whole other world. If you have never lived in Utah, you may not understand it. But, almost everything about my city is based around the LDS/Mormon Church.

missionariesThe first week we lived here, we had many knocks on our door inviting us to church.  All of the knocks included a free gift of the “Book of Mormon”.  I think it was only a couple of hours before my daughters were invited to go to activities with the children from the area/ward we lived in. We had no clue even what a ward was. All I could think about was that it was a psych ward. We were clueless. They tried for a few weeks and stopped coming around all together.

While I didn’t have a hard time fitting in, my daughters did. Since we weren’t LDS, the parents wouldn’t allow their kids to play with mine. They couldn’t talk to them or have anything to do with them. My daughter told me today that the only kids that were LDS that would have anything to do with her was those that are labeled “Jack Mormons”. Basically it is those kids or people who don’t follow the teachings but are technically still Mormons. Jessica and Beckiah did have a few LDS friends, but those were far and few in-between.

The everyday questions we got was, “what ward are you in?” “do you want to take seminary?” That was asked by the school counselor. Then there was, “would you like to go to the ward party” and so many more.  For a while, I was feeling like a horrible mom because I moved them from one world to another world. They were struggling in so many ways. I would have teachers call me all the time about how my daughters were problem children. They were talking or rebelling about the Mormon Church’s conversations were a big part of the classroom and how they felt like they were being judged. Eventually things did get better for them.

After they made some less than desirable friends they were happier. They were seeing Utah in a better way. We lived in Utah for about 6 months and then we went to go visit my parents in Phoenix. It was an eye opener for them. They always thought of Phoenix as their home. Now, they were talking about how dirty the streets were and what was that smell aka pollution. They were talking about how rude people were and so on. When one of them said that they were glad we no longer live in Phoenix, I almost had to pull over the car because I was shocked.

From reading the article I think a lot of living here is in the attitude. I don’t understand why people who move here to Utah to have a better life and for us it is a better life. We love it. But, if people who move here complain about the predominate religion, why move here to begin with. I have never had a problem with those who are LDS/Mormon.

Some of my best friends are Mormon. My friend Jennifer Harris is a Mormon and she has never tried to convert me and she has never looked down on me or my family. She and I can freely talk to each other about what we believe. I have also gone to special things with her and she has with me. We don’t let our differences get in the way of our friendship. If nothing else, it has made it stronger. I do feel bad for her at times though. The reason why I do is that she doesn’t fit the normal mold of a Mormon. She is divorced and I think she has been judged to harshly on some things. I have a great deal of respect for her. Jennifer lives her faith. I have known some LDS people who don’t walk the walk and they talk all day long and then do the opposite. But, I’m not judge and jury. When it comes to Jennifer though. I have a great deal of respect for her.

Then there is a good friend of ours that was my husbands dispatcher at Andrus Transportation. He is retired now, but Jim Black is LDS and I have the utmost respect for him. We can have conversations about whatever it is and about faith. Jim isn’t the kind of person that many that have been interviewed for the Spectrum Article. I don’t think I have ever heard Jim say anything out-of-the-way to people. He is very honest and if he has to say something, he does. I have really enjoyed the conversations he and I have when it comes to faith. I never really had many of those conversations when he was working as my husbands dispatcher. But, now I have found that he and I can talk about our faiths and they are always respectful.

I’m not one of those people who would let a Mormon Missionary into my home. I figure I have many friends that will honestly answer questions if I have them. For me to get into these discussions, I have to respect someone. There are many I respect and that is because they have earned my respect. Jennifer and Jim are just two of the best examples I have when it comes to the idea that not everyone is the same. They both have respect for me and they have no difficulties in allowing me to share my thoughts and faith. For me, my faith is the most important thing about me. And I think it is the same with Jim and Jennifer. Not all people are that way, but they are.

Today while I was having this conversation, I did make one observation, which I think is kind of sad and in a sense well, it is sad. But, I have lived in the house we are in for over 5 years. And in that 5 years, I only know one family on the entire street. I am sure it is because everyone is LDS and they get to know people who goes to church with them. But, the only person I know is Polly and Pauls family across the street. We lived here a couple of weeks and Polly came over with a plate of cookies. They were the only ones to actually make an effort. I have never lived somewhere when the neighbors didn’t make an effort to say hi, not even in Phoenix. Polly invited me to a few Relief Society things and I went with her.

During one of the activities she introduced me to the ladies. It was for a garden tour. These ladies obviously live in my area since the wards/congregations are split up depending on where you live. I still wouldn’t know any of them if I seen them, well, maybe the lady that walks the dog. But, I don’t know her name. Polly and Paul are awesome people and I have had some good conversations with her also. I just find it interesting how they are the only ones I know of my street. Normally I am very outgoing and I talk to anyone. My daughters and husband always comments on how I talk to strangers in lines at the store and we exchange telephone numbers.

I have been invited to go to the services on Sundays and I have always declined those. I love to learn about other faiths, but I know with the LDS that you have to wear dresses to church. It is a given. Many have said that you don’t have to, but I know that every woman does and knowing that is so, it would be disrespectful to them. I would feel like everyone is staring at me because I can guarantee you that if I went into the LDS Church how I go into mine, everyone would have all eyes on me.  And, I do NOT like that. In my church which is a non-denominational one, it is a come as you are kind of place.

I absolutely love St. George and for the most part the people. No place is perfect. I have told people over and over again that you can’t judge everyone by what one person does. Also, sometimes you have to look at yourself if there is a problem. If you are having the same issue with everyone, faith or not, then it probably isn’t them, it is you.

My last thing I want to say and I said it earlier is this. If all you are going to do is complain about the place where you moved to, then why move there? It’s like a person from the city moving to the country where there is cows which they stink and then all they want to do is get rid of the cows that was there before they were. When it comes to things such as faith, you can agree to disagree. My friendships aren’t based on where they go to church. Well, let me rephrase that. I do have a huge issue when it comes to those who practice witchcraft. I stay clear of that stuff. Christianity and Paganism is a HUGE GIGANTIC NO NO!

P.S. Since my husband is a truck driver my daughters and I had to do all the loading and I drove to St. George. We got into town around 10pm and the first thing we noticed was that they had a really huge city hall or court house. We found out the next day it was the St. George Temple, lol .


What is Memorial Day Really?


I hope this post doesn’t come off in a horrible way, but I don’t think that people gets it when it comes to Memorial Day. This is a pretty big pet peeve of mine and I am sure there are many out there that feels the same way. I try not to get upset with people when it comes to Memorial Day because I know many times people don’t realize the importance of Memorial Day. So, I just want to educate others on the true meaning of Memorial Day since obviously schools don’t talk much about it or people don’t pay attention.

There are many who get confused when it comes to Memorial Day  and Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans

Memorial Day events pay tribute to our military heroes.  Memorial Day commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while on active duty. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

memorial-day7Memorial Day is NOT a day for picnics. It is NOT a happy time. It isn’t about getting a good deal when shopping for good deals. Many also believe that it is a time to remember those who have died. It isn’t about me remembering that my mom or any other loved one died. It is about those who served our country and gave their lives.

History: (src: wikipedia) The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers’ graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The sheer number of soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War (more than 600,000) meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead. 

Soldiers honor heroes with flags at Arlington Cemetery

“Source: Memorial Day 2017 : “We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

– James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

I was at Kmart a few days ago and I was over hearing how these ladies were talking about going to the cemetery to put flowers on their loved ones grave. The loved one wasn’t for a serviceman who died giving their lives, it was for a friend that recently died. I chose not to say much since it is a touchy conversation, but I felt like I should have told them what Memorial Day is about.

memorial-day-is-not-about-bbq-beachesThen at Smiths, people are stocking up for the three-day weekend. They are planning on picnics, going camping and so on. They are so excited because it is the first three day weekend of the summer. They were all set to party it up.  One person even said that Memorial Day is a day to go fishing and drinking beer. It actually makes me ill to my stomach when I think about how little people respect those who died for our freedoms.

I’m sorry if I keep repeating some things in this blog, I just feel it is important to drive home the importance of Memorial Day. If I get a bit snarky or make a comment that may seem rude when a person wishes me a “Happy Memorial Day”, I apologize and at the same time I don’t. If that makes sense. I think there needs to be some education about what Memorial Day is really about. It isn’t happy day at all. It’s a day where I thank and remember those who have died while serving our country. They gave their all, the least I can do is remember what they did and be thankful.


It was just the other day when I realized that this coming Sunday is Mothers Day. I guess since I haven’t been feeling good for sometime, I pretty much lost track of the date. I do want to share a bit about all of the mothers in my life.



For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

I have heard a number of people who will say that their wife does nothing but stay at home and take care of the kids. They have this mindset that being a mother isn’t difficult. I believe that being a mom is probably the hardest job there is. A mother needs to have wisdom, energy and a sense of humor. The most important thing and this is what got me through the moments where I was having a hard time being a mom is the knowledge that the Lord is with me always. He will guide me and give me the courage that I need.

God loves moms and He wants them to experience His great love. They have the choice to seek the Lord and trust Him for every need or not. He has unlimited resources and longs to hear the requests of those who have faith in Him for the smallest to largest concerns.

God created families and God has special plans for mothers. While not all mothers feel the same way I do. I don’t believe that all mothers have the ability to raise children. Because of the choices they have made in their lives, parenting isn’t meant to be.

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18

God gave mothers the extraordinary ability to love unconditionally, prepare meals and juggle the things that needs to be done. Since the husbands are usually gone while the mom is home, they don’t notice that they have to manage their home, become a nurse and treat boo boos, Some moms have to work in order to have some sanity.

Every day is a new day. Mothers have a God-given purpose and the ability to do everything they need to do when they need it the most. I have heard mothers say that they can’t do this or that and I do think that we are the ones that are stopping ourselves. I think we actually sabotage ourselves when it comes to what we need to do.

It seems to me that Mothers Day is being distorted a bit. I wonder if people realize what Mothers Day is all about. We live in a society where we forget the importance of motherhood. It’s the one day when we take time out of busy life and shower them with love. I’m not fond of holidays like this, but that is just me.

A few years ago, my youngest grandson was at my house and he gave me a special gift. Of course he had no money so went outside for a bit. JJ and I were talking about Mothers Day and the whole gift thing. He started melting down over the fact that he had no money. He ended up picking a handful of yellow dandelions.I don’t know if did anything like that for her. He was so happy with the gift he gave me. I put them in a small vase on my counter.

I told JJ that he doesn’t need money to make his mammas day a good one. Handmade thing are much better than materialistic gifts. Spending time with her and make a pretty card and give it to her on Mothers Day.

Mothers are more than just the woman puttering around the house. She carried you in her womb for 9 months. She trained you and showed you what life is all about by guiding you and being there for you. Whenever you were having a difficult day. Mothers are there whenever you need to talk or a shoulder to cry on. In my family my daughters Jessica and Rebechia were also my best friends.

In my opinion Mothers Day and Fathers Day should be everyday. Everyday she should be shower prayers on that special person, without whom we would not be here today. Mothers should be recognized for her unconditional love.


Mothers Poem

Unknown Author

M is for the Many things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing Old.
T is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H is for her Heart of purest gold.
E is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R means Right and Right she’ll always be.

Put them all together, they spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me

On my next post tomorrow it will be about the special mothers in my life. I will also be talking about men who have had to step into the role as keeper of the house and the momma.





Poor Me Syndrome – Part One

This is going to be a blog post that will come in parts. I am going to talk about different types of people who have various forms of narcissism. This blog post will talk about 2 forms and then the next blog posting will come in a couple of days with the final 2 types of people with narcissism. All of the forms I will be talking about are actual people I know with them, but I will be leaving out names because I don’t want everyone to start messaging them and bothering them. So, I will try to protect their identity.

Person 1 “Look at Me” Narcissistic Person

Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder-3This is one of those topics that has been on my mind for some time. It goes by many different names. The names that has been on my mind lately is narcissistic. I have known a number of people with this syndrome or personality disorder. The unofficial terminology I would use though is the , “pity party express”, “woe is me”,  “look at me” and “poor me”. I do want to clarify that I’m not talking about those who truly suffer from depression or mental illnesses. I am talking about those who want to be the center of attention even if it means hurting those around them and at any cost.

I’m willing to bet that most everyone has met someone who is a narcissist.  I am known way to many of them. A good way to tell if you have a narcissist in your circle of family and friends would be to think back about someone who always seems to manage to bring just about any topic of conversation back to them themselves. For example, I have a family member who will call me up and we get in a conversation about how I’m doing. It’s just one of those small talk things. Usually she is the one starting up the conversation.

narcissism-definintionI’m not sure if many realizes this, but there is such a thing as sensitive narcissists. The type of narcissistic person I am thinking about for this blog post falls into the category of a sensitive narcissist. I would say that I know more narcissists that are sensitive, at least on the surface. This type of narcissist in my opinion is the most destructive. They are caring and compassionate. They are able to feel people’s pain naturally.  This type of narcissist are pros at manipulation and controlling others. They know how to get what they want.

The conversation goes like this for the most part. “Hi Sandie, how are you doing? I heard you weren’t feeling good. My answer is always that I am fine and I like to leave it like that. They wouldn’t understand what I am saying anyhow.  I let her know that there isn’t anything to really to complain about. She then would say, “That’s good”! After I comment with, “I’m fine.” Everything falls into place. Now is when she starts the,”Me” talk. Well, not about me, but she is talking about her. My part of the conversation is, “Uh Huh”.

Here is a bit of the conversation: 

  • Caller: Hi Sandie, how are you doing?

  • Me: I’m doing OK, how are you?

  • Caller: I’m OK, just tired of life

  • Me: Why is that? (I should not have asked)

  • Caller: I have been doing everything for everyone else! I have no time for myself. Nobody really cares about me! I have all of these things to do and I have no money to do anything! I have to cook for unnamed person. Then I have to go help this other person do this. Why is it I have to do everything? They take all of my energy, I have no me time!

  • Me: If you feel this way, why do you keep doing what you are doing? You can say no.

  • Caller: Yes, I know I can say no, but they need me. God has told me that I am to do all of these things. Nobody get’s it! It’s because of everything I do that people are happy. Nothing will get done without me. God told me that I’m suppose to do these things.  People love me since I bring them home cooked meals and do their laundry. All of these things I do for everyone will make it easier to get to heaven.

  • Me: I hate to tell you this, but you can’t buy your way into heaven.

  • Caller: I don’t want to talk about this. I am a better person because I do all of these things for people.  I do this and that (too much to list). Everyone loves me because I do things for them.

  • Me: You do everything because you want people to think you are the greatest person ever and because you need to feel worthwhile. None of these things will make you happy until you can accept the person who you are. If you aren’t helping because you want to, then it is in vain.

One day as I was talking to her, she was going on and on about everything she does for everyone else. She does these things for everyone else, but those good deeds (supposedly) will come with a price since they aren’t from the goodness of her heart. If she has helped someone out, I can tell you for sure that everyone will know exactly what she did, how much she spent and how terrible you are as a person since she had to ride in and save the day.  many many years ago, I decided that it is best to step away from these kinds of relationships family or not.

I think about the Toby Keith song, “I Want to Talk About Me”.

Person 2 – Emotional Kidnapping

ME_512_Over-Dramatize-640x199There is a friend I have been praying for that has mental illness and some other things wrong with her. Lately she has been so upset with those around her and her family that she is feeling like she is hated because nobody cares about her and nobody loves her. She has many problems and she wants to have it where things are about her  and only her. She is in denial when it comes to many things. What gets me is that while I know how loved she is, she can’t see it. If people don’t buy into her drama or manipulations, then she becomes irate with them to the point of making threats about not wanting to live anymore. She begins taking everyone down with her.

Cat1It shouldn’t be that way because someone wanting to die is very serious. I feel horrible for her friends and family members because they have had their lives turned upside down for many years all because of her neediness. Each time I see her or visit her, it is as if she is going further down the spiral staircase. I don’t know how much her family can take of this behavior. A couple of them have been in tears over how torn up their lives have become, just because of this one person. They have lost everything. They have nothing anymore and it is all because of the lies and manipulations. The more they lose, the more she blames them for it. When in reality, it isn’t that way at all.

She gets upset with them and makes threats that are very much on the level of a 2 yr old toddler. She kicks and screams and carries on when she doesn’t get her way. Once they give in and let her do what she wants, all of a sudden she is all lovey dovey again.

It’s been a while since I last seen her family and I feel bad for them. Each and every person is under her storm cloud. You can see the weariness in their eyes and body language. They have given up their lives just to be at her beck and call. It’s very unsettling. Her depression and threats of suicide are destroying her family. Everyday is a battle. Her family has lost everything because she is there and their lives rotate around her.

Suicide-hotline_1I take threats of suicide very serious. I have lost way to many people who I love to suicide. Mental illness is very real and if someone is saying they are committing suicide just to get their way or as a means of manipulating someone, I would like to say they are a coward. When I call them up because I am worried that they may do something and then they say they were just joking, that is nothing to joke about. I then tell her how heartless it is that she uses that as a way to get her way that when Brian’s family was told he committed suicide has to live with the loss of a loved one who really had severe depression forever. Then there is a young man named Frankie that committed suicide by shooting himself. I have no tolerance to people claiming they are going to kill themselves as a joke. . Click here for my blog post about suicide. I posted a blog with information about suicide prevention and the crisis line.

quicksand2aShe asked me day about what I thought about how her family is treating her like she pond scum. I told her that the best thing for her would be to pull up her big girl panties and start acting like an adult instead of a child. I explained to her that while she is wallowing in the pity party of hers, her family and friends are sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of her life. I also explained to her that her family are being held as emotional hostages and she is the key holder. There will come a day when those who are taking care of her and helping her will be gone.

b827c2ef996d67dc6f7f0799f243a21cThen there is a family member that I love dearly, but she really needs to learn the “NO” word. My sister Joyce has no idea on saying no. She is getting better at it though. I know she wants to help people out when they can’t help themselves. There will come a day when she has to stop having the mentality that she is the caretaker of the world. She doesn’t need to be Underdog and Wonder Woman. I don’t know if it is fully her fault. She has always given anything she has to those who has asked. Most of the time, NO is the best answer. People will keep taking if they know you are going to give to the point of you not having anything.

In the next day or two I will post the follow up to this one.

Suicide Prevention Hotline and Information

Suicide-hotline_1I have been noticing that there is many who are experiencing emotional and mental health crisis’s and are thinking about suicide. The information on this page is from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Website:

Call the Suicide Hotline if you need to talk or are considering suicide. 1-800-273-8255

VeteransCrisisLineLogoThe National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is copingwithsuicde-1.jpg

I have lost 2 young men that were like nephews to me. One of the young man committed died on Nov. 22, 2004. He was only 26 yrs old. His mom was and is still like a sister to me. My family grew up with hers in Indiana. I was only in the 2nd grade.

He left behind parents that loved him and he also was the middle child. He had an older brother and a younger sister . He also left a sweet little girl. Out of respect for his family, I’m not sharing his name on here. He wouldn’t have left us if there wasn’t a lot of things going on at the time.

Frankie with his daughter Elyica April 2013

Then there is another young man named France Walsh (Frankie). I have known his parents since Frankie was only around 4 yrs old. He committed suicide on May 15, 2013. He left behind his parents, sister Lynette and his daughter. He was only 24 yrs old.

Crisis, stress, depression, and other issues affect people in different ways.

Suicide Prevention Warning Signs

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

The following signs require immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
  • Looking for ways to kill yourself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Remember…help is a phone call away.

In any crisis, if you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Options For Deaf + Hard of Hearing


If you cannot call 911, proceed to the nearest Hospital Emergency Room to ask for assistance. Regardless of the type of crisis, the Emergency staff will contact whichever branch of crisis intervention service is appropriate to get you the help you need.

  • Veterans– For veterans, crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. If you’re a veteran or service member and in crisis, these resources can help.
  • Youth- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between 10 to 24. Sometimes your struggle can be underestimated because of your age. But we hear you, and help is available.

How to Help

  • Take your loved one seriously: Some people feel that kids who say they are going to hurt or kill themselves are “just doing it for attention.” But if your child,  friend, or family member confides thoughts of suicide, believe them and get help.
  • Learn the warning signs: Friends sometimes let friends know if they are thinking about suicide or dying. Other times, changes in behavior may show that someone is struggling.
  • Don’t keep suicide a secret: If your friend is considering suicide, don’t promise to keep it a secret. Tell him or her you can help, but you need to involve other people, like a trusted adult. Neither of you have to face this alone.
  • Listen with empathy and provide support: A fight or breakup might not seem like a big deal, but for a young person it can feel immense. Sympathize and listen. Minimizing what your child or friend is going through can increase his or her sense of hopelessness.