Category Archives: The Book of Me

Welcome 2016


I is for Iris


In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a multicolored bridge from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the Iris was considered a symbol of power and majesty, the three petal segments representing faith, wisdom and valor.

May I be like the Iris, representing faith, wisdom and valor. When the time comes I will ride the rainbow bridge from earth to heaven bringing messages to loved ones. May that time be long in coming.

I am Here.                           I am Loved.                                         I Love others with my whole heart.

My goals for 2015 were: The Percent of achievement are in brackets)

  1. A Positive Mental Attitude (99% )
  2. Listen to my body: Pace myself in all I do (85%)
  3. Exercise in moderation (walk dog)
  4. Make intelligent choices in my diet (90%)
  5. Make informed decisions (95%)
  6. Improve my genealogy skills (95%)
  7. Accept what I cannot change with grace (95%)
  8. Spend more time with family (95%)
  9. Encourage and support my family and friends in their choices (99%)
  10. Most of all Enjoy every moment life has to offer (99%)

I’m human, not perfect. I continue to strive to reach those ideals daily.

Happy, Healthy New Year to all my family and friends!

Remember to enjoy every moment of each day.

Ninja Buddy and I greet the New Year with a walk on a mild 36 degree morning with a light wind and cloudy skies. The snow covered ground reminds us it is winter after the above normal temperatures in December.

Only one goal for 2016:

Take each day as it comes with as much love and gusto that life offers.

Hugs and love.


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Filed under #365daysofJune, The Book of Me, Vignettes Of Life

Regrets? Not for me! DREAM-EXPLORE-DISCOVER all the way In!!!


Anglers Rest “the Book of Me”


Anglers Rest  In Deep with the Book of Me

Prompt 2 – February 2015 – Explore. Dream. Discover.

”Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did…….. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


Julie Goucher prompts are always thought provoking. This one more so that the others in my mind.

I have made tough choices over the year. Some I was sure was the correct route to take in life. Yet when I look back on those choices, I find all the positive, learning, growth aspects it provided me. How can you regret something that helps you become you?

  1. Career choices: Nursing or English teacher?
  2. College: Take time off before going or start right away in the fall?
  3. Marriage: Straight from High School or make your way in life on your own?
  4. Children: To have or Not?

I am confident the decisions I made were what I needed in my life at the time.

June 1978

June Lee Stearns-Butka


  1. Career: I chose Nursing. My mother was happy at that choice. She regretted not being able to go to nursing school and carry on her grandmother’s profession. I look back now, part of my decision to enter the field was to please my mother. Giving my mother that sense of accomplishment through me is a decision I will never regret. I am a caregiver by nature, no matter what I do in life. I am physically unable to work in my beloved profession; it doesn’t prevent me from still providing care in different ways. Supportive eyes and ears are sometimes all that is needed.

Nelson & Shirley Stearns 35th Anniversary 


2. College/Nursing School: I took time off to work as a caregiver, CAN (certified nursing assistant,) mental health worker and other odds jobs before deciding to start a three year diploma nursing program. Near the end of my first year my parent both became ill. Dad had his first heart attack, Mom her first round of cancer. I quit school to care for my parent and younger, still at home siblings. The youngest was only five years old. I do not regret that decision, even though the school Nursing Director, would not accept me back because she thought it was immature of me to leave a paid program to care for my family. NO REGRETS, I was there when my family needed me the most. Family comes first in my book every time. I did go on to obtain my nursing license and worked until my body failed me. Disabilities can slow you down but they cannot stop you from learning new things, new ways, and how to adapt to life challenges. I can provide care with my thoughts, loving support and just being there even if I can’t walk any distance or lift anything more than 30 pounds.



Mike & June's Wedding Day

Mike & June’s Butka’s Wedding Day 


3. Marriage didn’t happened to me until I was 25 years old. I learned to stand on my own two feet, make decisions on my own, take care of a household with the support of a man and many other abilities too numerous to mention. I was the oldest child, I needed to have that alone time, before I could be a partner to someone with the support needed in a lifelong commitment. Did I kiss a few frogs? Yes. Do I regret what I learned from them? No. Those relationships give me the strength and knowledge of what I was looking for when the time came. I found a partner who accepted me as a person first, not doormat, do as I say, stay barefoot and pregnant. We built and are still building a strong loving relationship that provides support to each other. Yes, sometimes more so on one side than the other. That rotates back and forth depending on the circumstances we encounter. A roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Enjoy the happy times-support the sad times that is what makes us stronger.

The Butka Family

The Butka Family


4. Children: I don’t think there was ever a time that I didn’t truly want children at some point in my life. I wasn’t ready to have them when I first graduated high school and was considering a serious relationship that included marriage. You see I am one of those woman who grew up straddling the fence of “Father knows Best” and “Burn your Bras.” I needed time to find out who I was first before taking on the job of raising children. I had been a second Mom to my siblings, I didn’t want to be a young mother. When I met my husband to be, I was in nursing school, her was in the drafting program at the same college. We met in September, started dating in January and were married in April. No regrets. He moved after graduation to New Jersey to start working for Bells Labs. I followed after graduating my nursing program two months later. I did not accept the next level of college I had applied for. I would apply in New Jersey schools and continue my education. Best laid plans…. Our first child surprised us. I never looked back. I have two intelligent, productive, independent adult children who provide joy in my life every day. DEFINITELY NO REGRETS.

DREAM-EXPLORE-DISCOVER: I do that daily. I cannot regret what something that hasn’t happened yet, because life isn’t over. It may not be what I planned to do, but I can assure you that it was meant to be.


To not dream, to not explore, to not discover what life or path there is, would be the regret.

NO Regrets that is for sure. Welcome world. What do you offer me today? I’m ready to learn.

The Stearns Family

The Stearns Family

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Filed under Genealogy, The Book of Me

In Deep with the Book of Me- Prompt #1: Rose of Sharon


In Deep with the Book of Me

In Deep with the Book of Me

In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

I have decided to continue with Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” project, “In Deep with the Book of Me.”

Prompt #1 for January 2015: Imagine you are planting trees that represent your family history.

  • What trees would you plant?
  • What part of your family are represented by a specific tree.
  • Why is that the case? – Location, image, name?

It has taken me 18 days to decide what tree to choose, partly because what I think of in regards to my family is not so much a tree, but a bush, called the Rose of Sharon. I considered the mighty Oak (its strength,) a Weeping Willow (family tragedies) and the Sugar Maple (its nourishment, strength and vibrant hues.) None of them fully captured my family as I see them. Yes, I could have chosen different trees for each family. It felt like a separation of us not one tree that flourishes and grows with each generation.

I continued to return to the “Rose of Sharon.” Family tradition is that my parents planted a Rose of Sharon bush when they first were married. They brought a piece of that bush to each home that they lived in. If not possible they would plant a new one. That new one would come from one of our family member’s yard. The siblings of both my parents also have Rose of Sharon bushes in their yard. It was the foundation of faith to them. The following two Bible verses were taught to me as a child. Lily of the Valley was my mother’s favorite flower. A well-grounded choice in our family history of gardening included the Rose of Sharon. My mother brought a piece of her Rose of Sharon as a gift when I purchased my first home.

Song of Solomon 2:1-2

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. The thorns from the Rose of Sharon protect the delicate lily of the valley. In return the lily of the valley brings love and comfort in early summer while the rose of Sharon strengthens and prepares for blooms in late summer and fall.  Just like in our family Protection and love throughout our life’s cycle.

Isaiah 35:2
it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.


It is described as, an erect, deciduous shrub that produces colorful, cup-shaped flowers in summer and fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white. A delicate pink with varying hues are what I remember at my parents’ home, white at my Aunt Carrie’s and blue at my Aunt Bea’s. The different colors are like our family with different personalities and opinions. The fact that they bloom when few other flowers can tolerate the changing season shows how our can adjust to life changes. We make ourselves known while other remain silent in times of need. That doesn’t mean we are vocal or in your face, most time it is through gentle hugs, sharing of what merger supplies we have or an ear that listens and not judgmental. We stand strong against our adversaries. Choose our battles and continue to fight another day.


Like the Rose of Sharon we are easy care/low maintenance. Well most of us anyway. One needs to take time to select a place with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil. In my mother’s word; “Remember to follow the Lord and her will nourish and guide you.”

Plant in spring or fall:  Remember to plant the seed of the Lord early and plant again to strengthen our line in the fall of life.

Space plants 6 to 10 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant: Remember to give each person room to grow. Allow them to find themselves, but with a guiding hand until maturity.

Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide:  Remember to provide a sound base of family and surrounding them with others who can also provide love and support. It takes a village to raise a family.

If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost: You need to fertilize and adjust nutrients for each person. We learn in our own way. Reassure that you are there when needed. Some may need the Lord’s guidance but will fight it. Don’t preach, show by example, in this way you nourish and strengthen the soil and soul.

Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill it half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly: Just be there with comfort, nourishment and support, they will grow.


Continue spreading your comfort, nourishment and support to each new family member, prune back a little (don’t be an airplane and hover over them.) Allow them time to make mistakes on their own. It is how we learn to become independent and start our own branch. We will learn to remove those dead flowers or branches (throw away what doesn’t work and try something new that will.)

With the nourishment to our body, minds and our soul; comfort and support as needed; and the strength of our love will blossom and grow for years to come, just as we have for years before us. From those who left their native land to traverse the unknown angry seas to a new land of plenty in the Lord’s garden to present day America we have survived, adjusted, strengthened our family our country and grown to maturity that is far beyond what we thought was possible.


When you see the Rose of Sharon bush growing wild at the beach or neatly trimmed in someone’s garden you will remember it is constantly adapting, changing, and growing stronger each day. It will survive. Some believe it is with God’s love and care, others that Mother Nature watches over her children. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are-care, support and love are there each day from someone or some source to allow the Rose of Sharon to grow and endure.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon


Filed under Genealogy, History, Photography, Social Norms, The Book of Me, Uncategorized, Writing