Sunday, July 25, 2010


Yesterday was Pioneer Day. It is the day we celebrate when the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. I had a lot of Pioneer ancestors. They were all brave and courageous people. I could not cross the plains in a covered wagon, my idea of roughing it is a hotel without a refrigerator and microwave. I decided to share the story of one of my ancestors, who sacrificed a lot for the gospel.

Ann Smith Cottam was born in Chatburn Yorkshire England on February 18 1824.
She was converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized March 14 1838 This is the year in which the gospel was taken to Great Britain.
In 1843 at the time she was a little over 18 years of age she met a young man by the name of  John Cottam also a member of the Church. Soon after this they were married.
They left for America in 1845 accompanied by a young son William who was born in West Bradford on February 12 1844.
 They first went to Nauvoo where in 1846 a daughter Katherine was born She died in infancy and was buried in Nauvoo.
Ann and her young husband John were driven from Nauvoo in the exodus but in as much as they didn't have sufficient money to finance the journey across the plains they drifted
to Kanesville Missouri in search of work Here a son Smith was born His frail little body could not endure the rigors of pioneer life he died at an early age.
This young couple with their little son William located in St Louis Ann gave birth in 1850 to another son who was named Thomas. While in St Louis they were forced to eat much coarse corn meal. As there was little or no shortening for the corn cakes they had to be dug out of the pans. From this one can readily understand how difficult it was to eat this diet and it gave many of the saints,including the Cottam family what was then known as the bloody flux or bleeding of the bowels.
The father worked for some wheat flour This was made into biscuits which in time relieved the condition from which they were suffering.  He was so thankful for this wheat flour which relieved the suffering of his family that he wept.
For the next two years John Cottam worked on the flat boats on the river as he could find no work in the mills as a wood turner. Ann supplemented their income by working long days in a sail factory. She had to leave William who was only about six years of age alone all day with his baby brother. At noon time she would come home to get them something to eat.
William remembered well being left alone and how a playmate gave him a trinket to play with he took the trinket home. When his mother found he had something which didn't belong to him she explained he must take it back as it was not honest to bring things home. He rebelled, but she took him back and insisted on his returning the article. He never forgot this and  told the story to his own children and grandchildren to impress upon them the lesson in honesty.
At the end of two years after John and Ann had both worked very hard they had sufficient money to outfit themselves for the trip to the West. They started with a wagon two
yoke of oxen, four cows, bedding clothes and food.

About September 1852 they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley where they located their home on the northwest corner of North Temple and Fifth West streets. They built a comfortable two story home with a barn a work-shop and out buildings John was an excellent cabinet maker he soon established a fine business making tables chairs columns and balustrades.
Their home was comfortable and their life happy.
At that time City Creek flowed down North Temple passing the south side of their property.
In the spring the floods did considerable damage to the property so his young sons hauled cobble rocks from the canyons and together they built a strong rock wall.  The
neighborhood boys spent many happy hours on this wall because with its flat board top it was a convenient place to sit.  All around this street corner were box elder trees and in a few years the shade was very pleasant on hot summer days In later years when many of the boys who
played there were grown to manhood they would relate how happy they had been because they were made so welcome by Sister Cottam's kindnesses.
All went well and Ann was very happy except for the fact that many of their beautiful children died. After arriving in Salt Lake City she gave birth to the following children:
*John born in 1853
*Alma 1855
*Heber 1858
*Hyrum 1861
*Albert 1863
*Ann 1865
*Daniel 1867
*another son named John was born in 1868
*a baby boy who died a day or so after birth
William, Alma and Heber were raised to manhood. Hyrum was the victim of a peculiar  accident when he was hit in the head by a rock thrown by a playmate. He suffered intense pain for 13 weeks passing away just one month after his 13 birthday. Ten of her thirteen children died which saddened the family.
In the year 1864 Ann gave her consent for her husband
to marry a second wife Mary Ried. An addition to the house was built.
After several years Ann's health began to fail and for
many years she suffered  intensely. Matrimonial difficulties crowned her life and she, finally sought her freedom in the courts, being awarded divorce and her rightful share of the property.  She rented part of the home she was given and retained only enough for herself and her youngest living son Heber.
Because she failed to consult Frederick Kessler, the
bishop of the ward he cut her off the church, stating that when she asked forgiveness in fast meeting she would be reinstated. She told him that she had committed no sin that she still believed in and kept the principles of the gospel and she would not do as he asked.
She sang alto in the Tabernacle choir for many years. Many times she testified to her family that she knew the gospel was true and she remained firm in her faith to the last.
The following is quoted from a copy of her Patriarchal Blessing we found in her Bible:
" Your pathway shall shine brighter and brighter ever until the perfect day. You shall be able to
comprehend the principles of the kingdom and be a blessing to your father's house and blessing to all you are associated with and inasmuch as you desire to do good no good thing shall be held from you.  I seal upon you the blessing of life and of health and say under all difficult circumstances which you may have to pass through, the angels of mercy shall be with you and the angels of health will administer unto you. Wicked men or devils never shall never have
power over you.  The fostering hand of your Heavenly Father shall be over you continually and your guardian angel shall lead you forth in the paths of truth and righteousness and your heart shall rejoice and you shall live on the Earth as long as life is sweet unto you and have power to
fill up the measure of your creation with usefulness. The blessings of many shall rest upon your head in consequence of your firmness and perseverance."
 This blessing was given in Salt Lake City 26 October 1862 by John Young.
Shortly before her death she worried because she owed someone for a sack of salt.
She told her oldest son, that if he would take the money to the person she owed it to, that all her debts would be paid and she would owe no one.
Some ten or fifteen years after her death the unjustness of the excommunication of this noble woman was investigated by President Joseph F Smith and his permission was given to have her temple work done, thereby restoring her rights This work was done in the St George Temple through the efforts of William E Thompson a temple worker, and a dear friend of the family.
Ann Smith Cottam died in Salt Lake City Utah January 2 1890 of cancer The writer of this
history remembers very well several dear friends of this good woman who testified many times of her kindness, her courage, her patience and her devotion to her remaining sons and their families.
Written by Alice Cottam Bishop, granddaughter of Ann Smith Cottam.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl.

She wanted to know what the United States looked like.
Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country.
Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said, 'Go into the other room and see if you can put this together.
This will show you our whole country today...'

After a few minutes, she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together.
The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly..
'Oh,' she said, 'on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus.
When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged,
Then our country just came together.'

Monday, July 19, 2010


Don't open the attachment until you read the whole thing.

 Dear Geek Squad,I recently purchased an HP Printer, and when I am in the room watching it, it works perfectly. However, nearly every time I leave it unattended, the papers come out wrinkled, sometimes even shredded, with blurred ink. If I re-start the print job and babysit it, there are no problems. You can imagine that this has been very frustrating, and I would appreciate one of your technicians coming out to fix whatever the problem is.Thank you,Dave Larson
 Dave,Thank you for contacting the Geek Squad..... As you know, one of our top technicians was dispatched to investigate your printer problem. His initial findings mirrored your experience, so he set up a hidden camera to document what was causing the paper disruption. Please review the attached video, and thanks again for your business. And for the laughs we all had upon discovering the source of your problem.Sincerely,Mark Donaldson Geek Squad

Sunday, July 18, 2010


1. The morning rush hour is from 5:00am to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 9:00pm. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

2. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph. On Loop 101, your speed is expected to match the highway number. Anything less is considered ‘Wussy’.

3. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Phoenix has its own version of traffic rules. For example, cars/trucks with the loudest mufflers go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second. However, in the East Valley, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.

4. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended.

5. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously. It’s an offense that can get you shot.

6. Road construction is permanent in Phoenix. Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.

7. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cats, mattresses, ladders, shredded tires, rabbits, vultures, javelinas, roadrunners, and the coyotes feeding on any of these items.

8. Maricopa Freeway, Papago Freeway and the ‘I-10′ are the same road. SR202 is the same road as The Red Mountain FWY and San Tan FWY. Dunlap and Olive are the same street too. Jefferson becomes Washington, but they are not the same street. I-17 is also called The Black Canyon Freeway as well as The Veterans Memorial Highway. The SR51 has recently been renamed to Piestewa Freeway because Squaw Peak Parkway was too easy to pronounce. SR101 is also the Pima FWY except west of I-17, which is also The Black Canyon FWY, and The Veterans Memorial HWY. Lastly, Thunderbird Rd. becomes Cactus Rd. — but, Cactus Rd. doesn’t become Thunderbird Rd. because it dead ends at a mountain.

9. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been ‘accidentally activated.’

10. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be ‘flipped off’ accordingly. If you return the flip, you’ll be shot.

11. For summer driving, it is advisable to wear potholders on your hands.

12. Please note that there are many, MANY more issues to the phenomenon of driving in Phoenix — like the 4-cars-through-a-red-light rule — but these will at least get you acquainted with our unique life on the road.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The service station trade was slow
The owner sat around,
With sharpened knife and cedar stick
Piled shavings on the ground.

No modern facilities had they,
The log across the rill
Led to a shack, marked His and Hers
That sat against the hill.

"Where is the ladies restroom, sir?"
The owner leaning back,
Said not a word but whittled on,
And nodded toward the shack.
With quickened step she entered there
But only stayed a minute,
Until she screamed, just like a snake
Or spider might be in it.

With startled look and beet red face
She bounded through the door,
And headed quickly for the car
Just like three gals before.

She missed the foot log - jumped the stream
The owner gave a shout,
As her silk stockings, down at her knees
Caught on a sassafras sprout.

She tripped and fell - got up, and then
In obvious disgust,
Ran to the car, stepped on the gas,
And faded in the dust.

Of course we all desired to know
What made the gals all do
The things they did, and then we found
The whittling owner knew.

A speaking system he'd devised
To make the thing complete,
He tied a speaker on the wall
Beneath the toilet seat.
He'd wait until the gals got set
And then the devilish tike,
Would stop his whittling long enough,
To speak into the mike.

And as she sat, a voice below
Struck terror, fright and fear,
"Will you please use the other hole,
We're painting under here!"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The Declaration of Independence was
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.
Tomorrow we celebrate our independence and the Birth of our Nation. Here is a transcript of the Declaration of Independence for your reading pleasure.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

*He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
*He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
*He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
*He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
*He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
*He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
*He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
*He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
*He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
*He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
*He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
*He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
*He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
*For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
*For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
*For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
*For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
*For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
*For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
*For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
*For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
*He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
*He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
*He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
*He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
*He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.