Naomi Hesterman

Naomi HestermanNaomi Ruth Terry Hesterman of Murray, Utah, died March 23, 2016. She was 81. Mrs. Hesterman, a retired homemaker, was born in Salt Lake City May 22, 1934. She lived most of her life in Phoenix, Ariz., where throughout the years she attended several wards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For decades she walked daily to run errands to maintain her long-time home in the 3600 block of West Orange Drive. Mrs. Hesterman was most proud of having read the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, more than 80 times. She bore her testimony monthly for as long as she was able, which was up until the last two years of her life. Next to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Mrs. Hesterman most loved her sweetheart, Lenny. They met at a tri-stake church dance and fell quickly in love as he wooed her by dedicating an entire radio show to her on her birthday. They married in the Salt Lake Temple September 17, 1956. Throughout their marriage he would whisk her away in waltz steps at every opportunity. She considered him the most romantic man in the world. Mrs. Hesterman worked at Primary Children’s Hospital as a nurse’s aide and took classes at LDS Business College before becoming a wife and homemaker. As a homemaker, she designed and sewed most of her wardrobe, baked homemade bread weekly, kept the house filled with fresh oatmeal raisin cookies and always had at least a loaf or two in the freezer of applesauce cake in case guests dropped by. She was an avid reader and master of all crafts—based on necessity. If it broke, she’d find a way to fix it. She was kind to animals, which prompted a book about two mockingbirds she and her family rescued. She was a prolific contributor to the “Ensign” church magazine and “The Reader’s Digest” with tidbits. Mrs. Hesterman is survived by five children; Bryce (Mary) of Redmond, Wash., Scott of Rock Hill, S.C., RuthAnn Hogue of Maricopa, Ariz., Lynda (Kevin) Zollinger of Reno, Nev., and David of Johnstown, Colo.; and many grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She is also survived by four sisters. Virginia Terry, Velma Terry and Jennette Terry and Genevieve Lougee of Salt Lake City; a brother, Roy (Carol) Terry, of Salt Lake City; and sisters in law Barbara of Murray, Utah, and Joanne of Phoenix, Ariz, and Marian Terry of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mrs. Hesterman is preceded in death by her husband, Leonard “Lenny” Hesterman; two brothers, Victory LeMar Terry, Jr., and LeVon Terry; a granddaughter, Micayla Zollinger; and a grandson, Jayce Skehan.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 5605 S. Vine St., Murray, UT 84107.

A visitation for Naomi Hesterman will be from 9 to 10 a.m. April 9, 2016, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Rose Lane Building at 5033 N. 38th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85019. A memorial service will follow.

Arrangements: Greenwood Memory Lawn.

.Donations: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary fund.


Whiptail Needs You

Screen shot 2014-07-24 at 2.04.50 AMBy RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

Whiptail Publishing has some great titles waiting to be released and some recently released titles in need of great marketing.

After all, we know that the best-selling books are the ones with the most buzz.

That’s where you come in.

Here’s how you can help:
* Buy “Goodbye, Walter: A Reporter’s Notebook” from – now only $8.99
* Buy Naomi Hesterman’s “To Love a Mockingbird: How Rescuing a Baby Bird Blessed Our Home” from – 99 cents for a limited time
* Post reviews on so others will be encouraged to buy the books – only cost is the time it takes to read the books and write the reviews
* Send either or both of the above titles as gifts to family and friends who can claim them as eBooks on just about any electronic reading device such as a Kindle, laptop, smart phone or tablet

Want to do more?

Marketing is expensive. Even with a fancy master’s degree and a lot of experience it takes operating capital to create interest.

Please donate $5, $10 or whatever you can comfortably spare to help www.Whiptail.Marketing get the attention it needs to succeed.

Even better, hire us. Yes, I said we’d do work for hire. Need copywriting? You got it. Need blog articles? Done. A social media plan? That will take some time, but we’re on it.

Does your website need a fresh look? Consider Hiring a WordPress Guru or a Website Builder Guru (coming soon).

So, yes, we need your assistance. Our goal is to give back even more.

We also have a wish list representative of some of the expenses we anticipate incurring.

Thank you. Sincerely. In advance.

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WebTechGirl supports #ResetTheNet June 5, 2014.

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RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Happy Pre-80th Birthday, Mom


By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

Cheesecake Factory lunch with mom

Naomi Hesterman enjoys cheesecake on her 78th birthday.

I want to go see my mom today as an early 80th birthday visit. I’m freaking out a bit because I have no idea what might be in store when I get there. My mother’s oldest son has complete guardianship over her now and he has used that to control who can see her or take her places. I wanted to take her to Cheesecake Factory.

Now all I can do is show up and hope the home hasn’t been told not to allow me in the front door. It was a shock that I could not take her out of the facility. I just am not up for anymore of his cheap shots at my mother’s expense. I am weary of the hate for me that seems to have no bounds.

I need to suck it up and do what I can to make this a great day for my mom. I know I won’t be allowed near her on her actual birthday as her guardian is flying into Arizona today. Apparently, he has taken over birthday plans and has invited people she once worshiped with in lieu of those of us who live here being able to treat her to a proper 80th birthday celebration.

Special thanks to my daughter, Ashley Payne, who has agreed to accompany me to the group home today in hopes of making sure they do not turn me away, and so she can also celebrate with my mom. She will be bringing her two children, Rockwell and Audrey, so we will at least have a little party of sorts.

In the end, this is about my mom. Not me. May this be a great day today and hopefully tomorrow will be enjoyable as well.

Happy 80th birthday, Mom. I love you.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Promise Unfulfilled; ‘Guardian’ Leads to Isolation

“The consensus of other family members that I have spoken with is that Mom will get her original photos when she leaves your premises because you have estranged yourself from the family.”

–  Bryce Hesterman, October 2013

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

Naomi Hesterman tries on jewelry

Naomi Hesterman tries on jewelry chosen to wear at Misti Hogue’s April 19 wedding to Darren Gibbs.

It’s been a month. More than a month, actually, since my mother, Naomi Hesterman, moved into a group home where she could be attended to 24/7, seven days a week. It was not done without much prior effort nor without much anguish on that day and for months preceding that day when we officially changed my mother’s residence to Medisys Assisted Living Home in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Leading up to this day were countless hours spent researching the Arizona Long Term Care Heath System and filling out the required paperwork, interviews and more so my mother could qualify. Without financial assistance, the meager funds she received from the sale of her home in 2012 would have never lasted beyond a few months of care. The only viable option was to spend it down on things she needed. And there were many. From dental work to a bath bench, hand rails to a mattress pads including one with a chiller and a chilling pillow to match and countless orders of Dominos pizza, mom enjoyed new clothing, art supplies, books, video tapes and more.

It was all part of helping to make her not only happy and safe in what was then the present, but to be eligible for future needed care.

One thing her money could not buy, however, was the return of her treasured family photo album. What was supposed to be a short-term loan of all of the memories contained in the pages inside of its gold-colored cover soon turned into a weapon in my mother’s eldest child’s never-ending battle to control her daily life. The return of the book, borrowed in January 2012, was denied for the last time in October 2013 when Bryce Hesterman of Redmond, Wash., declared that she would never again possess the book until she left my home for good.

It shouldn’t take a decorated electrical engineer with advanced education and training to understand why her medical care givers recommended that she have access to artifacts to help her cement her rapidly fleeting life memories. I suppose that living with her daily gave the advantage of insight to the likes of me, a recovering journalist and professional hosting services and small business consultant.

Without those treasured pages, Naomi Hesterman had little to look at. Nothing to remind herself of the lives of her children except a few framed family photos and a portrait of each of her children as teens or young adults. Maybe that is why she cannot remember much from 1956 to 2004. Images of those grown children with their children flashed on a digital picture frame, but Mom rarely recognized anyone, including her beloved Bryce.

It’s sad, really. No photo book could completely halt what is happening inside her brain. But it could have helped. A lot.

Perhaps it’s not too late.

So here’s my final plea:

Bryce, in the name of all that’s holy, please find it in your heart to give Mom her photos. It’s too late for anyone to sit with her regularly and help her recall the names of the faces she will see or attach dates to them or decipher locations.

Why? You’ve made it all too clear that you prefer Mom live in isolation in the group home without the opportunity to visit with those of us who live nearby. You’ve already made the group home a hostile environment and turned Mom into the likes of a library book to be checked in and out to those who are on the “reserve collection” list including yourself and a daughter who lives in St. Thomas (leaving out the only child she has living in the state, let alone within 20 minutes of the home).

So far, she has missed her oldest granddaughter’s wedding. She’s missed Easter Sunday service and the chance to wear new hats, shoes, jewelry and dresses purchased for each of these occasions. Mom was not there to watch her great grandchildren hunt Easter eggs or eat Easter brunch. She was not able to celebrate the birthdays of a son in law, a granddaughter and a grandson which were all marked with one big barbecue. She will not attend her great granddaughter’s 8th-grade promotion or her grandson’s college graduation.

All of this because of rules which bar me from taking Mom anywhere without your express written permission on a case-by-case basis. This is unacceptable. As her legal guardian, however, I suppose you are within your rights to isolate Mom as you wish.

In the meantime, Mom has met your condition, although her moving out of my home was done without your input or consent that I personally placed her in her current care. It took urgent pleas to her medical providers at the hospital to discharge her somewhere safe. It took many visits, some of which were crammed into the final 24 hours before her move. Unsuitable places were ruled out. Granted, you did pay for the first month of her care (for which you will be reimbursed, thanks to my hard work) and you will never again have to pay for her long-term care.

So, please, if you have even a piece of living, beating flesh left in your stony heart, please return the family photo album to Mom. It’s hers.

That is all.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

All mom, all the time

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

The kitchen faucet was running and the floor was flooded again today when I got home from an errand. Sigh. This was after we both went to see Mom’s doctor and I fed her a nice hot lunch. She decided to stay home while I was out turning in paperwork with the Veteran’s Administration on her behalf.

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 5.48.02 PMAs for the flood, I got it all cleaned up in time for the Adult Protective Services visit. This has been an all-mom day. I am still not done. There is more paperwork to finish and a prescription to pick up at the pharmacy. I’m exhausted.

(Oh, we had a bit of a flood in the bathroom this morning as well, but that was OK. She was taking a shower bath and caught me with the sprayer several times drenching me below the knees. Hey, she came out clean. I have no complaints on that one.)

beef fajitas

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Mom dreams of waltzing

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

I love my mom. When she tells untruths it is because she believes they are reality. It’s a shame her reality is so far from the truth. This morning she was wishing she could walk places all by herself, like she used to before she moved here. It’s as if my house is the reason she can’t, rather than her being in my house because she was no longer able to be independent.

That’s old news. We go through that scenario fairly often. Today she included the latest twist that if only someone would take her to a dance she could waltz the night away. Sigh. I keep looking. I don’t see any senior dances listed anywhere online. “It’s not fun growing old,” she said, adding her now trademark sign off. “I guess I might as well go to my room and die.”

The almost-topper for today though is that when I came to bring her morning medicine I overheard her telling someone that I no longer believe in God. I don’t know where she gets this stuff.

That leaves only the highlight which came in conjunction with me showing her YouTube videos of grandmothers dancing right in their own living rooms. One of them was of a 90-year-old woman who looked as if she might weigh all of 90 pounds if soaking wet.

“See, Mom,” I said. “She’s eleven years older than you and she’s dancing. It’s not about being old. It’s about staying active and exercising.”

“I bet she eats,” Mom quipped, ignoring the pile of eggshells and orange peels on the table to her right.

Yeah, Mom. I bet she does.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Mom: ‘No one cares about me anymore’


Mom visits Sterling House, which she says is a place she'd like to live.

Mom visits Sterling House, a place she’d like to live.

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

I walked in on my mom telling one of my siblings this morning in her weepiest voice, “I don’t know if  [RuthAnn] cares about me anymore.”

I have no idea what was said on the other end of the line while I was waiting to tell mom her breakfast was ready and waiting. Once I did, she spoke into the phone words of endearment. “I love you. You’re the most special person.”

“Mom, do you really think I don’t care about you?” I queried.

“I don’t think anyone cares about me,” she replied, not once noticing the irony of those words following a conversation during which she had just felt like someone cared.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said, before quickly changing the subject.

“What do you have for me anyway for breakfast?”


My mom has been craving cereal, so this was good news. She decided to open up a bit.

“I miss Orange Drive. I could walk everywhere from there.”

It seems my mom is missing her independence more than usual this morning. She is blaming her discontent with no longer being able to walk everywhere she’d like to as she once did on the fact that she no longer lives in the home on Orange Drive where she raised her children. Regardless of where she lives, those days are gone.

I’m working hard to find somewhere where she will be more comfortable and have more socialization, etc. I know it is the disease talking. I just wish once in a while she would realize that the person who is actually here helping her with daily life does care about her at least as much as the one who calls daily for tid-bits regarding what might be going wrong.

Yeah, I know that is about as likely as my mom being independent again. She has always loved her first born most. That will never change. He could set me on fire and she would still find a way to justify it and call him special.

I love her anyway.

OK, well, it’s time to get ready for work. It’s time to shine.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Increasing loss of reality boosts stress

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

Simple pleasures are increasingly difficult to find, let alone hold onto, as my mother lapses further into a fantasy world of her own.  In short, the business of balancing the roles of daughter and mom is becoming more tenuous.

A box arrived today containing equipment for my iPhone.

A box received today containing camera equipment confuses my mom and challenges her sense of reality.

Today, for example, a neighbor brought over the package I’d so been looking forward to receiving containing the zoom lens and tripod for my iPhone camera.  I’d purchased it recently from Adorama using a gift certificate from my youngest son. The postal service had accidentally delivered it to the wrong address and my neighbor was kind–and honest-enough to hand deliver it to my door.

Of course, I immediately opened the box and removed its contents. I briefly attached the legs to the camera holder and took a glance at the tiny lens before taking it back apart of stowing it away in a travel pouch.

I didn’t give it another thought as I went about my day. It had been going smoothly. I treated Mom to cold cereal and a Manderine orange after she’d complained several times recently about the hot oatmeal I had been serving for breakfast. She took her medicine and sat down to watch some television.

“I haven’t seen ‘I love Lucy’ in years,” she exclaimed. “I suppose Lucille Ball is dead by now.”

She had at least half of it right. She’s seen the show in recent weeks. It’s OK that she doesn’t remember. It’s good that she at least knew that the star was no longer among the living. Her ability to appropriately place people on the correct side of life and death is ever  waning. So even little successes are to be celebrated, I thought, as I smiled at my mom and affirmed her guess.

Because I anticipated her appetite I was able to cook and serve her a hot lunch before she was able to ask. A beef frank, beans and mixed vegetables seemed to hit the spot. Never mind that not long after she was finished she asked for a hamburger. She’s seen a commercial on television and it made her hungry. I reminded her that she’d already eaten. She protested saying that hot dogs are not nearly as filling as hamburgers. OK, so another little success. She didn’t initially remember eating the hot dog, but was willing to accept what I told her was true.

Not long afterward she retired to her room to read her weekly copy of the “Church News.” She took her new pair of Foster Grant reading glasses with her and for a time seemed to be enjoying her day.

“RuthAnn,” my mom said, fumbling with the gate she uses to keep the dogs outside of her territory. She continued into the living room with the help of the brown wooden cane my father used in his final days. “Where is my box of books from Lynda?”

“There is no box,” I said.

“There is too,” she insisted. “I saw you with it.”

“If there is a box of books for you, it hasn’t come yet,” I tried to explain, adding that the only exception would be if it had arrived in my absence and she had brought it in herself. If such were the case, I’d have no way of knowing as my estranged sister and I never speak.

Mom loudly insisted that she’d seen me with the box and demanded to know where it was.

Remembering the camera equipment I’d received a few hours prior I immediately retrieved the box and showed her that it clearly had “photography” printed on the outside and let her know that the contents had been for me. I suppose the clashing of reality with what she had imagined to be true was startling.

“YOU DON’T  BELIEVE ANYTHING I SAY. I WISH I’D DIE!,” she screamed, using every fiber of her being and every last bit of her vocal chords.

“Remain calm,” I silently reminded myself. “One of us has to be rational.”

“Mom, I wish you’d believe me,” I pleaded. “There really is no box. If Lynda is sending something it isn’t here.”

It’s sad that mom isn’t able to distinguish what is real and what is imagined. It is twice as frustrating when she won’t trust me when I try to help her tell the difference

That’s when I have to breathe. Really breathe. She doesn’t know. Maybe there is a box on its way. Maybe she really did think the photography box contained books. She must have, because she proceeded to search the house for the stack of tomes she was certain I had stashed away. Eventually, empty handed and disappointed, she returned to her room to sulk.

As for me, I’m relieving a little stress by blogging. They say it’s cathartic. I sure hope so.

Sure, people often tell me it’s a good thing I am doing. It helps. It really does. But trying to live up to being as awesome as people think I am can be exhausting. In reality I struggle a lot with guilt for not being a better caregiver than I can manage. It is draining. I never feel like I have done my best, and yet at the same time I pat myself on the back daily for the little things I get right, like making lunch on time, just so I can manage to continue. I try to remember it is not about me surviving.

It is about making my mom’s final years pleasant and safe. It is a tall order. Certainly taller than myself.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.

Homemade Asparagus, Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes Hit Spot

By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing

Home cooked meal for mom--and puppiesDinner is simmering. The puppies are chilling. And my mom is eagerly waiting for a plate of pork chops, fresh asparagus and baked sweet potatoes.

It’s been somewhat of a calm day. I don’t generally cook. It takes a lot of energy, which is something of which I often find myself in short supply. I had meant to spend much of the day napping. I was so exhausted that I wasn’t sure I’d make it through church. I took my mom and came back home to reboot myself.

There was laundry in the dryer. It needed to be folded. There were jackets and sweaters still in the washing machine that needed to be dried. Then the puppies caught my eye.

Such cute little babies, I thought, and with new unused collars–which I was able to pick up for less than $2 a piece–it seemed like a great time to try them on. They are growing so fast. Just a few weeks ago these same collars could have served as hula hoops on then-tiny canines. They are still small. Their xs toy size collars in orange, blue, red and pink, however, fit great. It took a little more effort to get Jack’s over his head and to keep Bandit’s small enough not to come off easily.  The blue in Jill’s eyes is nearly gone. Only Cinnamon still has his puppy baby blues as both Jack and Bandit’s eyes have turned a rich brown. Not another day, I decided, would I let go by without trying to get some good images of these little sweethearts. I’m still experimenting with my new camera phone so they aren’t as great as I would prefer. But they are better than the fuzzy ones I took last time with my computer’s built-in web cam.

My mom arrived home from church famished. A leftover slice of cheese pizza held her over until I could cook a proper Sunday meal. She seemed to enjoy both. She wanted more.

“Could you bring me a loaf of bread?” she asked, after asking that I open a jar of sugar free jelly. “I want to make a sandwich.”

“Sorry, I really don’t have any bread,” I replied as Mom explained that the loaf of Roman Meal bread I’d given to her Friday morning was already gone. “I didn’t buy any bread for myself when I went shopping.”

Mom said that was OK, and that she appreciated that I had made dinner.

I have to admit that it feels a little odd to have a warm dinner in my belly. I’m so used to eating not much more than diet bars when I am at home. In a way, it also feels good. I don’t believe I could eat a full plate like that every day, but maybe I can turn this into a Sunday tradition. I know I wouldn’t do it for myself.

What makes all the difference is knowing that this is one of the few ways this daughter can please her mom.

RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s and She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.