Tuesday, January 21, 2020

MLK Banker, Stubborn Healing and Mormon Deer


            We have not adopted a celebration tradition for Martin Luther King Jr. Day – though Jenna did have a nice suggestion:  watch Tangled because there’s that song “I have a dream” – only we couldn’t seem to find our copy of Tangled and the Myrtle Creek library doesn’t even carry anything that recent. 

            We had three bananas that were somewhere between brown and black.  I planned to purchase some vanilla ice cream to make smoothies or banana ice cream.  This would be in honor of “milk” day as my niece had initially thought MLK to be.  I had told reader’s to refer to her blog in this post, but alas, she has made it private and so no one will have that opportunity anymore (including me).

            Roland suggested we play Monopoly – and though it’s not mine nor Jenna’s favorite game, it is an opportunity to play games with Roland – and at his suggestion no less. 

            Jenna has now decided to set the timer each time monopoly is played with a two hour limit.  It was good for Roland to focus on something other than his pain.  They both dubbed me as banker which is really not a coveted role for me.  In our household, the banker makes the rules whether they really exist in Parker Brothers instruction book or not.

            All tax fees and other expenses go into the middle of the board giving free parking a purpose – to win the pile of cash that each player contributes when paying fees.  I decided that we would deal up half the properties and no other properties could be purchased or housing/hotel expenses until we had each been twice around the board.  Properties could be traded to fulfill an expense – for example, if you land on Boardwalk and have to pay 1400 but do not have that much, player can give up properties as agreed by Boardwalk owner.  Player DOES NOT have to mortgage properties in order to obtain funds.  And you don’t have to build evenly.  If you want to buy one hotel for one property and only one house on the remaining properties, with me as banker, that is allowed.

            I was out of the game after an hour and a half.  I had landed on Boardwalk.  I gave Jenna all of my unmortgaged property plus the less than 100 dollars I had in bills, but the three mortgaged properties I had were returned to the bank – plus all of the housing which is removed when the player loses and has to be repurchased by the new property owner.

            Roland landed on Boardwalk three times during the game and he was finally busted just before Alexa went off.  But Jenna wanted to continue playing forcing Roland to mortgage most of his properties and sell his houses.  But then he landed on Baltic or Mediterranean – both of which had hotels.  So he lost.  That was funny.

            During our game of Monopoly Jenna had played a variety of music on YouTube.  As we listened to Abba, she pointed out “I Have a Dream” and so after our monopoly game and ice cream making, we found some other songs on YouTube to celebrate “having a dream”  We listened to Abba, Tangled, this one, and of course, Martin Luther King, Jr (here)

            As we are down to half a driver and there is a family in my ward short a car and also providing rides for Jenna – we loaned out our second car.  As Roland planned on driving Jenna to the church this morning I wanted to make certain his back was up to it. So I had him help me move the cars so that the one to be borrowed was behind.  He moaned and groaned as he got into the car, but he is stubborn enough to make it work.

            This morning I went along for the ride when he dropped off Jenna.  We were quite near downtown when Roland started honking his horn.  Until we approached closer, I hadn’t even realized there had been a deer in the road (it was still dark and raining).

            Whenever he pulls into the lot, he has a habit of going all the way toward the grassy area before he turns around.  He likes to see how many deer are parked out on the lawn.  I told him we had already seen one deer for the morning and he shouldn’t expect the deer to be camped out in the rain. 

            I don’t know if it was him or Jenna that suggested that there was a difference between the one we saw in the road and those who “go to church”  I think it was Jenna who suggested that some of the deer get made fun of by the other deer because of their desire to be so close to the Mormon Church.  That made me laugh.

Monday, January 20, 2020

An Empty Vessel



          A vessel, by definition, is either a ship or large boat or a hallow container usually associated with holding liquid.

          I remember going to a young women’s camp as a leader.  We had an activity in which we were asked to hold onto the iron rod on our way to the tree of life.  Only in the case of our camp situation the iron rod had been represented by a rope.

          As we were making our way from one area to another, we were faced with temptations.  I can remember being enticed by chocolate chip cookies.  Huge ones.  And I LOVE chocolate chip cookies.  But I wasn’t about to let go.  I rationalized that the main ingredient may have been salt.  A chocolate chip salt lick.  Yum.

          I was going through the motions of hanging onto the rope.  I wasn’t going to let go.  I was going to reach the end because it was expected of me.  I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.  I was pressing on with the attitude of fulfilling my calling out of duty than with gratitude and service.  I wasn’t participating in the right frame of mine - possibly due to a lack of sleep (at girls' camp if you can imagine).  Even with my imperfect attitude I did successfully make it to the tree.



          The stake leader’s had taken some clear stones wrapped in wire and used the wire to hang each stone from the tree.  It represented the fruit.  We were each allowed to pick a fruit.  It was dark and I until we had returned to our campsite hadn’t noticed that the stone or “fruit” from my frame was missing.  My vessel was empty.

          Until I got married I kept that stoneless frame above my light switch as a reminder that I need the right attitude to fully enjoy the sweetness of the fruit.  I am reminded of this experience each time I read Lehi or am in a class discussion that focuses on said topic.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Help Me . . . I’m Sorry



          For the most part I turn off my phone before I go to work.  I leave it in my bag and do not carry it around with me.  I’m in class, after-all.  It’s not like I can answer it or have a conversation.  On Tuesday morning I went into Roland’s office to tell him that I was leaving to go to Canyonville.  Only he wasn’t in his office.
         
          The front door had been left open indicating to me that he must be outside.  I still couldn’t find him.  I called out his name but he did not answer.  As I pulled out of the driveway I saw him on the hill wearing a blue shirt.  He must have fallen shortly after I pulled out of the driveway – long before I got to Canyonville.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately as I did not allow myself time to freak out) I did not get his message until after I had returned home from work.  He had already been taken to the hospital by then.

          I found him in bed.  He explained what had happened – though it was very hard for him to get the words out as he was still short of breath.  Not only had he landed on his back during the fall, but had the wind knocked out of him as well.  It could have gone so much worse.  He could have hit his head on a rock or a cinder block but didn’t.  He was conscience and stubborn and determined to get up – though I don’t know what he used to pull himself up.  He had ripped out the clothesline during the fall.

          He made his way back into the house though he was in excruciating pain.  He managed to change his clothes and call me on his phone – only I didn’t answer.  He had left two verbal messages and one text message.  I got his text message first.  Could I pick up some Aleve on the way home.  I did not get the message until I walked into the house.

          I noticed a tightly packed pharmacy bag on the fireplace.  I wondered where it came from.  When I found him in bed, laying on his back, he explained that he had called our home teachers and had them take him to the veteran’s hospital in Roseburg.  He said he had felt every bump in the road.  And then I listened to his messages.   I would have driven home in a panic if I had heard them earlier as I could hear his gasping for breath between each word.

          I called another member in the ward to make arrangements for Jenna to be picked up in the morning as Roland was (and still not) in no position to drive and I cannot see in the dark.  Thus our household is down to just half a driver for now.  Like Jenna, Roland makes for a lousy patient.  He is an eternal optimist and is not in his nature to complain.  But he is still in pain and his pride hurts just as much as he does.  He is not healing quickly enough and has had to take time off work.  That has been hard for him.  Asking for assistance has been hard for him.  He has tried so hard not to complain, but he is in pain.  I know he’s in pain.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  I know what it’s like to feel helpless.  He must have forgotten how often he’s waited on me.  Now the roles seem reversed somehow, and he doesn’t like it.

          On Wednesday the wind blew.  I could see the trees dancing.  And the chimes were playing their tunes.  It didn’t seem like a very huge wind – but it somehow knocked the power down – in quite a large area.  The high school still had power but the middle school was without longer than we were.  It was just a little scare.  I haven’t minded when we have lost power but knew that it would be devastating for Roland.

          I cancelled the assignment which I had accepted for Thursday.  I didn’t want Roland falling again and felt I needed to be here when he’d be on the phone with social security.  I didn’t know if he’d be able to answer all questions without running out of breath.  But he did fine.  I had assisted a little, but not much.  I went back to work yesterday.  When I returned I found him in bed again.  He was proud of himself because he’d been sleeping on his side.  He can’t sleep on his back.  He has tried sitting up.  Sometimes he will nod off, but never a deep sleep.

          He said he doesn’t know if he will make it to church tomorrow.  I had expected that he wouldn’t.  I really don’t even want him to drive right now.  If we were going to put him in the car as I passenger, we would have to take him out at least 20 minutes before we need to leave so that he would have time to walk to the car and we could load him in.  And I suspect it would take 5-10 minutes getting him out and across the parking lot of the church.

          He doesn’t wish to be dependent.  I think there’s a lesson that he needs to learn.  Perhaps many different lessons for each of us. Yesterday I had my phone with me.  I checked it between each class.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Another Case of Weather Bizzarness


                On Monday I had an assignment to work in Canyonville.  It rained.  I had heard that students go out for recess regardless the weather.  Okay.  It’s pouring, but whatever.

            It wasn’t pouring during lunch.  It was still overcast and cold.  I had worn my green coat and had retrieved my umbrella.  Apparently it is only K-2 that go to recess in the rain but the middle schoolers were assigned to go into one of two class rooms as the gym and labs were being used.




            I guess I really hadn’t needed to drag my umbrella up to the cafeteria.  I stopped off at the last classroom where I was assigned and dropped off my coat, hat, scarf and umbrella along with the totebag that I was too lazy to put in the car after eating my lunch.

            Yesterday the weather didn’t seem as wet – though the ground was – which is why the middle schoolers were banned from the field – because it was muddy.  But then why allow K-2




Whatever.

            Yesterday had a few minutes of snow falling throughout the day.  It looked pretty in the trees.  Nothing I wanted to drive in however – not because I don’t like driving in snow.  I don’t.  But I can handle this county’s version of snow.  But because it was once so rare, there are many who just don’t know how to drive in it.  Still, it’s really not the worse part. The worst part is the wet ground mixed with freezing temperatures creating icy travel.

            Before I had even made it to work – or probably even out of the neighborhood – Roland fell.  He is in great pain.  He is upset about his condition.  Jenna and Roland aren’t particularly great patients.  I like to think that I am.

            We had an activity scheduled for last night, but I wondered if there would even be a good turnout and so we called everybody to cancel – or postpone rather – we just haven’t figured out our new date.

            And then today the sun is shining.  But it was also windy.  Not a violent wind.  At least I didn’t think it was.  But it managed to knock the power out for a bit.  That was weird.

            I went to the church with the sun shining and left the church with the feeling of a storm.

            It’s raining right now.  Pouring.  They say  it will turn into snow.  They’ve been forecasting it for two weeks.  Maybe tonight it will really take.  Maybe it will snow and they will cancel school.  I’m scheduled to work at Canyonville tomorrow.  I’m hoping for a snow day.



Monday, January 13, 2020

Leveling the House



                As I have mentioned in prior posts, the house I live in is manufactured – which means it was built elsewhere and moved to this location.  Manufactured homes were not designed for multiple generations to live in and yet we see a lot of that in this area.  The realty price is always for the land which surrounds the house but not so much for the house itself.  It will always decrease in value.

          Before we had even moved into the house, I noticed a problem with the front door.  It didn’t seem to make a difference whether the knob was locked or not, if we pushed hard enough, we could get in.  But I could never manage to unlock the bolt from the outside and would always go around. 

          The knob on our back door has always worked and over time we were even allowed to use the bolt without having to perfectly line the door into place.  The floor in the kitchen and front room felt weak like we would fall through.  And after Service Master had come and remodeled a part of our house that had flooded two and a half years ago (here) , the floor seemed more level for a while, but gradually fell back into its slump.

          Thus Roland called someone to come out and relevel our house which had probably never been releveled before – even when we purchased the house and it was a requirement – I don’t think whoever did it had actually earned the money we paid.  I’m happy to say that both doors close and lock properly.  No more moisture on the back porch since the roof has been fixed. 

I do hear a creak when I get up in the night and walk from bed to bathroom.  The sound comes deep from underneath the house.   Jenna is upset that the levelers didn’t do their job.  But they did.  The leveling to this side of the house just hasn’t settled – and the floorboards aren’t’ loose like they were in the other rooms.  I think it’s just a matter of time before their isn’t that sound anymore – one that is deep but it isn’t the floor that feels unsteady.  It just sounds like it hasn’t adjusted to its position beneath.



I’ve never been down there nor do I have the desire.  I don’t know how much space is between the house and the ground.  I have seen some houses jacked so high that there appear to be 40 steps or so leading to the house and owners park their car beneath.  I would not want to park my house under a building.  I don’t like the idea of a building falling on my car or being in the building when/if it falls. 

https://modelremodel.com/2016/08/house-lifting/


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Math and English



          I saw this sign in a math class at school yesterday. 


It made me laugh.  I have observed many students now and find that people in general are either math people or English people.  There are some who excel in both.  And there are those who don’t get either.

          Jenna prefers math.  Although there may be different ways of getting the same answer – the answer is consistent.  It won’t ever change.  There is only correct answer.  No exceptions.  English, on the other hand, is full of exceptions.  It’s a wonder that anyone is able to learn it at all!  I would think learning it as a second language would be even more challenging than it is as a first language – but I can’t say for certain as it is my native language – but still confusing at that.

         Math NEVER ends.  Some of us are taught to count before kindergarten.  We are taught that numbers start with 1.  Somewhere along the way we are taught that "1" is really not the starting number, nor is 0 as there are all the negative numbers that take place before 0 comes along.  And then there are a whole slew of fractions and decimals that take place between each whole number causing numbers to have no beginning and no end.  Nothing about numbers is final - except for the answer to every problem - well, except for complicated algebra that may have no definite answer except for C-2x=xyb.  What kind of answer is that?  Why are we using letters in math anyway?

          I don’t think there are any “solid” rules in English.  There are ALWAYS exceptions. “i” before “e” except after C.  And yet we have words like forfeit, weird, and science that destroy that theory.  Or how about G takes on a different sound when followed by a, o, and u as opposed to e, and i which would make the “g” take on the “j” sound such as “giraffe” and “gem” but uh-oh.  What about  “girl” and “geyser’?  And what is up with Y sometimes passing itself off as a vowel and a consonant

          I don’t have a problem with the basics of math.  It gives me a headache when we have to start finding the value of X and Y and the chart that points up and down and to either side and how y dominates these two areas while x I part of something else.  Huh?  And triangles will always add up to 180 – a term that perhaps I had learned in my youth but did not store it in my memory and so had never even thought much about it until yesterday when the instructor explained it to the class and I re-explained to a couple of students who weren’t either paying attention or just didn’t care – sort of like me.  I mean, really, what relevance does that triangle value have in my life?

Oh, and let’s not forget all the vocabulary words that are needed for math.  Words like integers, diameter, circumference . . . why is it that English is needed for math, but one doesn’t have to be familiar with shapes or numbers in order to know order to learn English?  Even with all the silly rules and exceptions, I prefer English to math. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Good For Her


          There are five students in the seminary class which Jenna attends.  Each of them has an opportunity to present a devotional.  Jenna’s assigned day is on Wednesday morning.  This week she passed out this card:



She challenged each member of her class to carry the Book of Mormon on his or her person (she is in actuality the only female student, but the female instructor had been challenged as well) and has been carrying the Book of Mormon with her ever since.  She not only reads it at school, but writes down her thoughts, searches for pictures to insert into her book to help her remember the focus of certain chapters, and will discuss her thoughts with whoever will listen.

          I have been so blessed to have such an awesome daughter.



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Schools and Weather


          There are five schools in the district – which I may have mentioned before.  Two elementary schools are from K-5 (I think both offer Pre-K.  I know that one does for sure), a middle school from 6-8, high school 9-12 and the Canyonville School ages K-8.  I will accept assignments for three of the schools.  I have worked at all the schools accept for the high school.  Currently I will fill in for aides at either the elementary school closest to the middle school, the middle school or Canyonville.  Four of the schools are about equal distance from my house (the two I accept assignments for are to my east and the other two are in Tri City to the west) but it takes more than twice as long to get to Canyonville as the others.
         
          I think the high school and other elementary are fairly new in comparison to the others.  For the past two days I have been at Canyonville – which at some point had only one building.  But now there are five.  I haven’t accepted many assignments with Canyonville this year, though I have five lined up for future dates – starting with Monday and Tuesday of this week.

       It’s been cold the last couple of days.  I meant to wear long sleeves to school yesterday, but came across a short sleeve top I hadn’t worn in a while.  Normally I get hot at the schools, but yesterday I was cold in the main building and didn’t become overly warm until the last 30 minutes with the 2nd grade.  I had taken my long green coat on Monday.  Roland refers to it as my “bag lady” coat. (Refer to this site) as I knew I’d be outside at least during lunch.  The agenda also required that I spend the first 15 minutes and last 15 minutes outside as well.

          I notice the rain always chases the fog.  I had brought my umbrella the on Monday but hadn’t needed it.   Yesterday morning was foggy.  Normally I haven’t had to arrive at Canyonville so early and so I haven’t seen where the bus drops off the students until yesterday.  I left my umbrella in the car and was surprised the fog had lifted by the time I got up the hill.  


I wore my wolf jacket and not my green coat.  My legs and buttocks were cold and I wished I had worn my long coat instead. 

          As the day progressed, the clouds moved to reveal the sun and the air felt colder.  I’ll be sure to take my green coat with me as I work the next two days at the middle school.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Will the Real Big Bad Wolf Please Stand?


“Johnny Depp is great, but the fact that he is not Joey Fatone bothers me.” - Jenna on January 5.

The quote made me laugh when Jenna said it, and then I had her repeat what she said so I could get the right quote, but still might not have it exact.

Allow me to explain: 

When Jenna was three Roland had purchased a copy of Red Riding Hood (here)  which she has loved and watched often.  Joey Fatone plays the wolf.  In Disney’s version of Into the Woods (here), the Wolf is played by Johnny Depp. 





You may not find this as amusing as I did.  But her quote did strike me funny enough that I thought I’d share.


Sunday, January 5, 2020

When the Train Stops

Yesterday I was watching a movie on Hallmark.  The movie title is one I have seen before – but with a different description.  I enjoyed the 2019 version of “Christmas Town” starring Candace Cameron Bure (here). 

           The movie starts out with the focus on a man and his little girl.  He is struggling with some health issues.  The tree has been put up and decorated and he somehow loses his balance causing the angel to fall and breaks off a wing.  He promises that he will send it off to have it fixed.  If he had just used a form of Elmer’s or Gorilla glue, we might not have the story that takes place roughly twenty years later.

Lauren has recently accepted a teaching position in Springfield, Mass. and is anxious to leave behind her life in Boston. We learn that she has a boyfriend and a promised relationship, but her wants and his wants are not the same.  She is frustrated that she hasn’t been able to contact him to let him know that she is leaving and is a bit put-off to find him home ready to pick up where they left off.  She lets him know that maybe they really aren’t meant to be.

          She takes the train toward Springfield. As the train nears a small “tourist trap type”  town full of the Christmas spirit, they make an unscheduled shop as either the weather has failed them or the train is need of repair or something . . . they stop and all the passengers are required to get off and find some means of lodging.

The scenario reminded me of how many of us have chosen a destination and create a path for ourselves on how to fulfill our goals.  There are many of us who may ride a metaphorical train that makes an unscheduled stop that may throw our entire plan off course.  We don’t know why, but something prevents us from arriving to the destination that we thought we wanted in order to fulfill something greater – although we may not see it that way in the beginning.

         I have grandnephews and a grandniece that I’ve never met.  Lucas is the oldest and was born a few months before my second and third granddaughter.  Each of them will be turning five this year.  Holy Cow!  Lucas has a younger brother.  The two of them are inseparable.   Each of them has had a hard time sleeping without the other in the same room.

            Lucas has cancer.  He’s been in and out of the hospital in order to get the treatments that he needs.  His mom and dad have become writers of a blog (here)  though even if writing had been a part of their plans, they most likely would not have chosen gaining strength in a collided “two worlds, one family” quoting Phil Collins December 31 because that is how it felt.  One parent with Lucas in the hospital while the other stayed at the house with the two-year old – who at first was allowed to visit his brother but banned after flu season – though not completely.  Just at the hospital. 

            Lucas came home for Christmas before going into the hospital again for what hopefully will be his final treatment.  I think the cancer probably made a lot of people stronger – though I don’t associate with them as they are in Minnesota and we are in Oregon and I don’t even see my brother who is the grandfather of these two boys and currently resides in Utah.

            The train not only stopped for their family but several others as well.  And each has had his or her free agency on how to react to what wasn’t a part of their plan.  From what I’ve read, they seem to be enduring greatly and yes, at times mom and dad have been emotional boobs.  But who can blame them for that.  All the while they have tried to remain strong for Lucas.  It turned out that Lucas was the strongest one of all.

            That’s only one example of a stopped train.  Not all lives experiences end being wrapped up as neatly as the Hallmark movies and certainly not in such a small amount of time.  Trials are not easy.  Some callings are not easy – especially when the person called really isn’t comfortable about having the calling.  Again, we have our free agency.  We don’t have to accept the callings.  But it is an opportunity to grow if we will accept the challenge.

            I am reminded of a sister in the ward I currently attend.  She has had the calling of a Relief Society instructor.  She taught lessons once a month and always made it known that she was not comfortable in her position.  Never vocalize your thoughts in front of a congregation.  She is now the adult Sunday School teacher and now gets the opportunity of teaching not just once, but twice a month.

            I am reminded of a poem written by Carolyn Pearson (here) in which she talks about auditioning for a play and not getting the desired role, but the coveted role actually goes to one that she doesn’t consider worthy to play the part.  A transition is made for the girl who lands the part and it makes the author realize that we all have potential if given the opportunity.

            I hope that when I find myself on a path that I don’t particular think fits in my plans, I will focus on Him who knows better than I and I may express more gratitude for where I am. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Another Birthday on the 3rd


Jenna loves to make people happy.  She likes giving little gifts for birthdays.  Before the year started she asked us if we could take her and one of her friends to the roller skating rink for his birthday.  I have taken Jenna roller skating a few times during her lifetime.  It has always taken her longer to get her shoes off and skates on or vice-versa than the time she spends going around the rink.  She has never mastered the roller skate however.  I, on the other hand, spent many hours on roller skates in the past.  I am no longer confident about stepping on wheels.


 Yesterday we took her and her friend up to the Big City of Roseburg and purchased passes for each of them.  Her friend had gone around the rink a few times without her.  She struggled, but did eventually get better at it – or so it appeared.  She didn’t seem to notice that she had gotten better as she still felt unsteady on her feet.  Her friend was sweet with her as he assisted her.  She fell quite a few times but claimed she’d been having fun.  I admire her persistence.

Friday, January 3, 2020

New Year’s Eve and 2020


         I had always believed that New Year’s Day was for taking down the Christmas decorations and putting them away as that is the day my mom had always done that.  I had tried carrying it over to the family I am with right now.  Sometimes it works, but not always.  Roland always seems anxious to take it down right after Christmas.
         
          We did not wait until New Year’s for the outside decorations but removed the lights and ornaments, electric cords and so forth from the yard.  We started at 10:00 Tuesday morning before the fog had completely lifted.  Roland announced that it was going to rain.  He was right.  It poured.  I can’t remember what time it started pouring, but it was still light outside.  I don’t think the pouring stopped until after midnight.

          Roland wanted to play Monopoly and asked if I would like to be banker, but I really didn’t.  So he was banker and the rules were very different than they had been the last time we played.  Every time (both last time and this time) Jenna tries to play fair, it ends up biting her.  I don’t think it was so much the game itself, but making future comparisons of things that will take place in her life.  She is not ready (not willing) to grow up.  She was crying while I was thinking – “That’s tradition.”  Ever since I was a child I remember New Year's Eve somebody was always either physically sick or emotionally stressed – sometimes both.  But I’ve never seen it with this family – except for many Thanksgivings Jenna has been sick, but not since we’ve lived in Oregon – at least I don’t think.  She’s such a trooper.

          The youth had scheduled a dance that she had planned on going to until the day before.  She said she’d much rather stay home and play games with us.  After her meltdown, I figured she wouldn’t have gone to the dance anyway and wondered if she would want to play games.  But Jenna does bounce back and radiates a very positive attitude.

          We had three guests come over for light snacks and games.  Rita was the first to show.  We started to play the game Imagine-If having taken three turns each when Mary and Kassy arrived.  We stopped our game of Imagine-If and moved onto another so that Mary and Kassy could join us even though Mary said we didn’t have to. 

          She started preparing some food they had brought with them and Kassy sat at the table, arms crossed and expression that told me she had been dragged to the “party” against her will and would rather die than engage in any kind of celebration. We started game number two without Kassy but Mary did join in after a while.  We played “Hear Me Out” which Mary didn’t seem to fully understand as she would read the player's answers and make comments so that there was no secret about who wrote each answer.  When there was a tie, we asked Kassy to be the tie-breaker.

We did manage to get a smile and more participation from Kassy when Jenna and Rita took a break and started doing “the fork in the garbage disposal” dance.  All six of us played a round of Uno. Mary was tired and groggy and finally took a nap on our couch. I think we may have played another game of Uno without her and then Kassy decided she no longer wanted to play.  We put her on the other couch and gave her the remote control.  The rest of us continued to play “Catch Phrase” and pitted Roland and Rita against Jenna and me.  We laughed so hard.  After a while, we traded partners and quit keeping score.

After midnight Jenna went with Roland who took Rita home.  He said to just leave Mary and Kassy on the couch and they could sleep there, but Kassy was insistent that Mary wake up as they had other things on their agenda.  The wee hours of New Year’s Day in Myrtle Creek?  What was her hurry to get out of our house?  Perhaps she needed to get home to her dog.  I’ll bet that’s what it was.

They left shortly after Jenna and Roland returned.  We went to bed and took the indoor decorations down at 10:00 in the morning.  I thought we’d play games but went back to our boring routine of each of us just doing our own thing.  It was a quiet and boring day overall.

I feel like I did pretty well posting dashes last year, but my bi-weekly word rarely ever came out as I had intended.  They aren’t on the agenda for this year.  I figure most of what I have posted has been dash worthy – just not numbered as such.  My goal for this year is to allow Roland the pleasure of savoring his shopping and to not complain about the wait.