Monday, October 16, 2017

A Different Book for Liz

He graduated with a
BA in graphic arts the
October before we moved to

He had planned on walking in
the graduation ceremony the
very day that he and Jenna came
to Oregon to start unloading
furniture. I went
to my uncle's

For over a year he's been
online, creating plans for a
business.  He took his
assignments seriously and
did the research as though
he were really going to start
a business here. 

Except for just one week, his
business plan focus was always on
starting an adult day care which
this area is in great need of.  It
hasn't been done before.  It sounds
like a good idea, but he doesn't have
the funding.  He has
done the research and had even sent
out surveys.  We call it
"sunk" investment.

He graduated with his masters last
month.  He would like to
walk across the stage in June.
It would be so nice to
see the family again, but
I fear it will be a repeat of
our visit to Utah this year.

I will be wiped out and not the
person I am in Oregon.  I will
need to pray that my
body doesn't give out, and that
I will be alert to my
surroundings and drink in my
family and allow my love to
overpower my health issues.

I was certain that Roland would
get bored and try to spend more
time with me.  But he found another

He doesn't want to start a business -
not the adult daycare.  He misses
the graphic arts.  Recently he
created cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving and
Christmas. He also would like to recreate
the ABC books we have given to
Jenna, Anna, Devin and Ally (here).

He would like to be in charge of
creating a new one for Liz.  I think he
should.  I hope he can utilize his
skills for the purpose that he

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Toddlers and Stories

                My sister had posted this to her facebook page.  We laugh because it is true.  Surely most mothers will have several stories to go with each picture.  Here are mine:

1.         Although this first example does not involve pillows, it does involve a child's ability to sleep  anywhere that an adult couldn't possibly.  Before Kayla was born there was a time when my brother Corey had gone missing.  My dad and I had searched the house high and low for him.  We had gone outside.  We had called neighbors.  We were frantic.  We both said prayers.  We called his name over and over again . . . he wouldn't respond.

            During the course of searching, I had dropped something and had crawled under the table to get it.  There, on two chairs that had been pushed up against the table, was my brother fast asleep. 

            I also have taken pictures of my nephew, Brian and daughter Jenna in half-standing/half-leaning positions.  Brian in his cowboy boots and shorts.

2.         This was a favorite outfit for my nephew Kimball and his sister Candy - not at the same time, mind you, but when they were the same age.  Kimball moved swiftly from window to window to watch the dumpster retrieve garbage cans from the curb.  He obviously had not made time to get dressed. 

            The time I remember Candy running around after one of her siblings, and it was not grandma visiting them, but the other way around.  I think Candy had soiled her clothes or something.  They had been removed, but she took off before they could be replaced.

            I think Kimball must have been embarrassed about the situation as he kept saying, "I feel sorry for her like that."  I laughed because he had done the same thing.

3.         Some children never outgrow that.  Just as with my Jenna, Kayla's husband also likes to dress up.  I don't think I've ever seen him wear a cape though, except in costume.  He is one that will not only don himself for whatever occasion, but dress the family as well - mostly for Halloween, but like Jenna, I could see him doing it for pizza.  (see this post) 

4.         It's not just Toddlers that can/will eat the same food for all three meals.  My youngest son is 28 and would still rather have a bowl of cereal over anything else.  Not only is it enjoyable to eat, but the only dishes required to wash are a bowl and a spoon.  Toddlers don't consider what a chore is often present when doing dishes.

5.         As an adult I can't perform in front of others.  Even when I am out in public and have to use the facilities, I find it difficult especially when there are others waiting. 

            I remember a time I had taken Ellen into the bathroom with me.  I don't even remember how old she was, but I think she might have been talking in sentences (she did have quite a sophisticated vocabulary at an early age).  While sitting on the toilet with loose pants around my ankles, Ellen looked at me and said with every bit of sincerity,  "Aunt LaTiesha, you look beautiful"  Thanks?

6.         I can't think of a laughable example at this time.  Toddlers are blunt and don't tend to hold back, but I remember receiving comments for Kayla, Ellen and Jenna in which their toddler eyes found me to be more attractive in something that I would only wear around the house.

            Jenna and I used to have make-up parties when she was older than toddler age. I was a masterpiece in her eyes.

7.         This was me - not only as a toddler - but at least up through fourth grade.  I'm guessing my toddler acts would have been easier to sit through and not as lengthy as trying to put on an entire musical.  Ellen did it to.  She and her friend would set up chairs for us and have us come watch them in the backyard.

8.         I think bathtubs got a lot shorter than when I was a kid.  I realize I have gained weight, but come on.  Great tubs at Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. 

Not recommended for a toddler

9.         I think it was Corey who used to draw on the walls.  He would make smiles with arms and legs.  He would write letters in addition.  Crazy how he had actually labeled one drawing "cattle" and another "phantom".  Though he had watching "Sesame Street" at the time, I don't think he really knew how to spell then. 

            Corey did know his letters though.  One time we had gone to Arctic Circle (a local fast food chain in Utah and Idaho) and while my dad was ordering food, Corey was standing by the high chairs pointing out the letters and saying what each stood for:  "P is for pirate and peaches" etc.

            Jenna still enjoys drawing and hanging her own art work on the fridge.

10.       I don't remember any of Sunny's and Patrick's children taking selfies when they were younger. I don't even know if Sunny and Patrick had cell phones at that time.  I do remember when their three oldest received disposable cameras from one of Corey's friends.  The older two had been wise about using their cameras.  Brian used his film up within minutes.  I called it abstract photography.

            Jenna didn't take selfies so much when she was a toddler - though the last photo in the above picture my suggest otherwise.  I have posted some recent "selfies" here.  
            Updated technology:  my youngest nephew likes to "Google" - he'll say something foreign and Seri will give suggestions.  I don't know if he fully understands but he smiles at the ability of having made Seri talk.

11.       The night Candy was born, I watched her brothers.  Kimball was on the couch and I had Brian with me in mom's bed.  I heard Kimball call to me and went out to the living room to check on him.  When I returned to the bed (which was a king) Brian had managed to reposition himself and was hogging the entire bed!  How is that even possible?!? I ended up on the couch opposite Kimball.

12.       Grandmas and Grandpas used to whip out quarters to give to Jenna every time she flashed her smile and charm.  One time when we were leaving Big Lots, a man asked if I could hold his dogs while he went inside.  They were huge!  The man told Jenna that they were Scooby Doo dogs.  When he returned (less than two minutes later) he gave a dollar to Jenna.  Hey!  I was the one that held those giant dogs!

13.       Riding in the cart - especially the car shaped ones - was the most exciting thing ever.  

Assisting mom and dad with filling the cart - also awesome.  My mom had been shopping for a Relief Society activity.  I don't know how old I was at that time.  Mom hadn't noticed my "contribution" to the cart until after she returned home.  Amongst her RS purchase were three bear shaped containers full of chocolate milk.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Making Profit With Real Estate: Gravy Investments

I did not go into as much detail with my examples for the assignment I had turned in . As I hadn't numbered my examples and had revised my assignment several times, I wasn't certain that I had covered six examples.  From what I've posted thus far, I know that I have covered at least seven, possibly eight. 

          And now for the moment you have all been waiting for:  Gravy Investments.  When Roland and I were first married, he believed that he would be the breadwinner and we would be able to make a living from his paychecks and that whatever income I brought to the household would be considered "gravy"  In other words, extra spending money. 

          So I gave two examples of "gravy".  One I had made a comment on in a discussion post and had initially attempted to incorporate into my assignment, but as my words were adding up, I decided to delete it and go with something else.  

Gravy Investments

I call these gravy investments as they are  types of investments for extra spending cash.  They are not investments that one can make a living on.

1.         Another way property was used for investment in Utah was to hang onto said property until it increases in value.  Last week I gave an example in reply to another's discussion post that if property taxes paid over a certain amount of time, Utah government has the authority to auction off a slice of land from your property in order to pay the debt.  This type of investment is more popular among doctors and lawyers who may hang onto the land until they are approached someone offering to buy the land usually for property development. 

            Roland and I had acquired twelve strips of land as one of our attempted investments.  We were able to sell one piece of land for six times the amount that we had paid on all twelve properties put together.  While they seem to hold little value at the time of purchase, great thing about selling these small properties is there is not a huge amount of paper work involved.  Everything is legally done with a quick claim deed.  We have since signed over all twelve pieces of land.  whereas flipping houses or renting your property would might be more profitable for your living expenses.

2.         Another way property was used for investment for product.  For example, my grandpa had invested in land in areas where others would pay him to lease out his land so that they could drill for oil.  My grandpa would receive payment known as "royalties".  I don't know that he received enough in royalties that he would have been able to quit his job. 


1.         When you are a property owner, you may choose to grow or sell product or lease the land.  In my first assignment I had used the example of leasing the land to horses or RV's.  I did not think of product  until I was researching my blog for other examples I had used.  DelEv Blueberries (here) is one example of using your property to sell product. 

            I don't guess I would call that gravy. I think it was intended as their livelihood.  It's too much work to be considered gravy.  But it is an example of how to use real estate to make profit.  I had not included this in my assignment as I have already turned it in.
2.       I made reference to Roland's being a real estate agent and how we both went about finding listings and our response.  I did email my instructor a bit more detail about that and how I had organized my files to assist with finding contact. 

          I probably won't discuss my first assignment as I hit a few highlights already.  Our reason for moving out of our rental (here) was to save money.  Roland also wanted to plant a garden.  I have at least 40 posts about gardening - a forth of them just this year.  I don't know what my next post will be.

Making Profit With Real Estate: Property Management

           This is a continuation of a post I had started yesterday.  I did not use a numbering system in the assignment I turned but wondered if it might be easier to read.  Meanwhile, it has gotten more lengthy.

Property Management

            I would rather "flip" properties than to use them as rentals.  Richard thought the ideal rental would be commercial property - renting out space to doctors, specifically or manage on office building.  That is something we have never done, but we did have two rental properties for family living.  There are different ways to be in property management. 

1.       Sometimes Roland would (and still does) look at commercial properties that he could use to rent out office space or floor space.  We had actually looked at a squirrely layout in Sandy - there were 9 different rooms I think and most included sinks.  He said it had been used as a daycare at one time but he was thinking it might make good offices for doctors.  The appearance of the establishment was residential, but most of the buildings around it were used for commercial - if used at all.  Unless the doctor had clients living in that part of Sandy whose only option of transportation was their feet, I don't think it was the most ideal location and was in need of cosmetic repairs in order to invite the public to want to see a doctor in that establishment.

2.       We did have two different houses that we used as rental property.  The first was the house we ended up living in when we moved to West Valley.  At the time of purchase we had no intentions of moving into it.  As usual, the family was recruited to spruce up the appearance.  I took these pictures before it was ready as we working on it:


          I took a lot more, but currently this is all I can find.  While working on it, Biff enquired if we had any renters in mind or if he could possibly move in.  I think it was a good experience for him to be out on his own.  Sadly it lasted only a couple of months.  In December of 2007 he was in an accident that totaled the car he needed as transportation and as things didn't seem to be working out with his roommates, he used it as an excuse to get out.

          Our next renter was the daughter of a ward member who needed a second chance.  If the declining economy hadn't been such an issue with the job market, they may be living there still as Roland had contracted a lease/purchase option in which they were actually paying more than expected rent, but the money was to be accumulated to use as down payment for purchasing when they finally qualified.  They could no longer make payments, nor could we on our current house in Kearns.  We ended up losing our house in Kearns and moved to our West Valley Property (see here and here) 

           Meanwhile we had purchased another property in Kearns from a neighbor who was also having financial problems.  He had used it as a rental for as long as we had known him.  We continued with rental, but had not made the best of selections with our renters.  The last couple we had in our Kearns rental moved into the neighborhood about five or six months before we moved out.  It was their intent to purchase the property when the timing was right.  Unfortunately it was never right for them.  They both lost their jobs and we ended up doing a quick claim deed returning it to the neighbor we had initially purchased it from.

3.       I posted about the trauma of getting into our rental when we first moved to Oregon.  My third example of a third party property management. You could purchase several properties but allow another a percentage to collect rent, enforce rules and so forth.  I used Neil Co as my reference as it is the only property management that I have dealt with personally.

          I had actually created a post recommending not to use Neil Co at Century 21, but since have reverted to a draft - though I'm still not happy with them overall, they did seem to be on top of it when we called for maintenance issues. Getting in and out was my major issue but I really loved the house where we live.  I really thought I would miss this house after we left, but really have not given it a second thought.  That's really impressive too. 
I suppose I did have six to begin with, but as I did not go into as much detail with those examples, I wasn't certain that I had covered six examples.  Now that I see it outlined this way, I can see where I had used at least seven in the assignment I turned in.  Next post:  Gravy Investments.  Aren't you excited?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Making Profit With Real Estate: Resell and Flipping

          Last week I created a post about writing my assignment in first person wondering if I might get discredited for doing so.  Also, I thought it rather challenging to come up with 750+ words (I think I ended up with 753) Not only did I receive full credit but a comment from my instructor said that he had been entertained.  That was a bonus as it had not been my intent to entertain.  Perhaps I'll touch more upon it following the comments for this week's assignment which may take more than one post as I have several examples and well over 750 words.  I had actually started out with eight different examples, but felt it best to revise my assignment in order to keep it to less than 1,000 words. 

          So here is a rough outline accompanied by mostly personal examples - though I did start out by mentioning the A&E's former television series called "Sell This House" and ended with the mention of HGTV's "Property Bros" and  "Fixer Upper".  There are many many ways to use real estate for investment purposes.  Here are some:

 Resell and Flipping

                 Today's American Dream seems more than just owning property, but to make money from property investments.  Purchasing houses at a low market rate, fixing them and flipping them appears to have become a hot investment commodity.  There are some who have the knack for it and some who don't.  I DON'T HAVE THE KNACK.

1.       Realtor's get a commission on what they sell. Some realtor's won't even bother with the type of housing that Roland has often listed - but he has worked with many investors who are willing to flip the property.  They will purchase the "fixer upper" for less than 100,000 and end up selling it for almost three times the amount - depending on the neighborhood, the timing of the market and so forth.  They end up with more money in their pockets than did Roland.  Thus Roland decided to hop on the bandwagon of real estate investments.  Fortunately he had partnered with someone for each, but still . . . I didn't enjoy it overall.

2.       I remember four properties having been purchased for "Flip" purposes.  The first and third are the ones I remember best.  Both in Midvale.  The first was a shared driveway and hidden location.  I think the hardest part about the property was the land itself.  Lots of overgrowth in the way of weeds and trees, etc.  Roland decided that it would be a family project and we would spend weekends going out to clear the land.  What was he thinking?  None of us are landscapers.

          I remember clearing out items in house number 2.  I liked the house itself and had considered living there, but we couldn't afford it.  Jenna was just a baby and the outside deck included about a million steps.  I was afraid of each of us trying to walk on it during the winter months.  I didn't particularly like the area where the house was located.  I never even saw house number 4 (his partner did everything and spent too much money;  it was our last "flip"

          House number 3 provides the most horrible memories.  I refer to it as the Nightmare on Oak Street.  Unlike the first house in Utah that was hidden from the average driver's view, the house on Oak Street could be seen from a high traffic area.  There was always interference from the city.  I could not take Jenna as I was afraid of her falling into a hole or something. 

          I think it was listed as a one bedroom house.  There was a garage that Roland had wanted to convert into another bedroom but after it was gutted, a wind blew down the outside wall and created a more costly expense.  This is the house that we had been working on when I posted  this story.

          My next three posts are Property Management, real estate and what I like to call "Gravy Investments" -  which I will explain. And possibly I'll reminisce my first assignment but not post the assignment itself.  Though my instructor says he was entertained, I reread and was bored with it.  So if this subject doesn't interest you, you may just want to wait until next week before continuing with reading this blog.  But hey, thank you for tuning in.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Special Talents

                Jenna can watch videos to learn skills.  Often she will pick things up and adapt the skills as her own.  I think I must have mentioned the book bags that we had made from tee shirts.

we made these bags from scrubs

                She can also blow an hard cooked egg out of its shell and she has used her paper cutting skills to impress her friends at school.

I couldn't get the full chain of six;  apparently her friends
had never seen someone make chains of identicals

                She certainly has a lot more talents, but those are three.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Aiming for the Ideal

            A couple of weeks ago we had the missionaries come over for dinner.  As we were talking, one of elders made the comment that several people don't see us a family oriented church.  I took the opportunity to explain to him why that might be.   Though there is a strong emphasis placed upon the family - even the definition according to the proclamation (see here) seems discriminatory.  We're not all like that.  The average family doesn't fit the mold. The proclamation gives us an ideal that we are supposed to strive for.  

          When I wrote this post, I referred to a couple named Juleen and Al Jackson.  I mentioned how I'd been under the impression that Juleen had believed that the show should have focused more on their story (or families of similar living) rather than explore those that didn't quite fit into the mold of "Mormon living"  - she DID NOT say it that way, rather that is my own interpretation.  In her mind she represented the higher population of what and LDS person is.  In my mind she represented what the "ideal" Mormon "should" be - to a degree anyway.  Probably the family values would fit into the mold of the "ideal" family - not to say they don't have problems.  Everybody has problems. 

          There were times of tension in my mom and dad's house - nothing like the average family.  As Corey and I have both mentioned, our family was not perfect, but by comparison to so many others, it almost seems too good to be true.  Same with my brother, Patrick and his wife.  I know there have been struggles with fitting into the perfect mold - but even so, I think theirs may also be one that many may view as too good to be true.

          I definitely don't fit into the mold - not even close.  Too much tension between me and my middle son - even from this far away.  He says things that set me off.  Even without that added stress, I just don't believe our family (with me as a parent) fit the "ideal" mold.

          Corey and his husband have Christianity and a great love and respect for mankind - but they're certainly not part of the "ideal" family - not according to the proclamation.  They are shunned.  Oh, the Church says "we welcome them" and they may feel it among certain members, but I don't believe the Church as a whole. 

           I remember attending the temple ceremony when my cousin was married to his wife.  She had a large family, and as I recall, by the time Roland and I had entered the room, it was just standing room only.  There was my Uncle Ross and Aunt Fern to support him.  It was the first time I had felt a personalness and connection during the ceremony and not just the routine of going through the motions.  It was special.  It was the most awesome temple marriage ceremony that I have attended. 

          Not all family members are welcomed to the temple.  There have been many invited to wait in the foyer and not be part of the ceremony due to a sacredness.  But when you are on the outside waiting, it is kind of hard seeing that the church is family oriented when all of the family is not together for the great event.  I think that's why all the hoopla with wedding receptions.  ALL of the family members can be included whether they hold temple recommends or not.

          Earlier this year I noticed his wife's name had been removed from a family conversation.  I emailed Corey and asked if he knew the reason.  Apparently the two had divorced the year before.  He forwarded an email that another cousin had sent about the situation.  I read it as though the family was trying to erase the former wife's existence out of their lives.  How would they ever be able to succeed after eleven years of marriage?  She and Michelle's daughter had read the eulogy together at my uncle's funeral. Surely there are good things to remember? I'll admit that I did not get to know her all that well.  It would be easier for me to erase her as part of family, and yet there are things that I will never forget about her.  I will remember the feeling that I had at their ceremony.

          I have another cousin who also got divorced just this year.  Corey did tell me about that one before her name was also removed from the family conversation. I heard his wife just left him.  I don't know what happened. He's now a single parent. I believe his children still lives with him, but I don't know.

          I'm sure Dallin Oaks wasn't implying discrimination, and yet that is what I heard as he gave the statistics of mothers having children out of wedlock.  I thought of another cousin who many have always considered odd.  She brought her fiancĂ© to Tony's missionary farewell.  My boys had thought him even odder.

           I represented the family by going to the luncheon and wedding reception.  They looked happy.  They divorced after she gave birth to their daughter.  I don't know why.  She said having a baby freaked him out - which is weird as he is the eldest of at least four sibs and sounded like a good brother making sacrifices and assisting in their upbringing.  I had assumed he would also make a great father.

          I remember when she announced her decision to have another baby.  She had gone for artificial insemination.  I don't know if there were any that understood or supported her choice - which may have not been hers alone just as my decision to marry Roland.  Roland and I both know God had a hand in getting us together.

        Tina is quite prayful.  She's temple worthy.  The decision made was not made lightly.  It may have been a struggle for her.  I know her finances have been even worse than ours have ever been.  And yet she went through with it and gave birth to a second daughter.

          I am one who questioned her choices then .  I have since commended Tina for her brave decision.  She provided a sibling for her daughter among other things.  I don't know all.  Perhaps she doesn't either.  She's had a lot of challenges and a lot of hardships.  She is a great mother.  But she certainly doesn't fit the "ideal".

          It's tough being a Mormon.  I can deal with the persecutions outside of the church better than I can with the ones that seem to be coming from our leaders.  In her case, she had the option of not carrying the second child - or even keeping the first for that matter.

          In the case of divorce, you do not have that option to control the decisions of another - and why would you want to?  Things often happen beyond our control that lead us on a path different from that which we planned for ourselves or led us to believe that we were on the right path.  It's bad enough being put in that position.  Single mothers don't need the reminders that they are single.  Sisters who attend church without their spouses don't need reminders that they also don't fit the "ideal" because their partners choose to be inactive. 

          Overall I enjoyed conference.  I really did.  But I had allowed something about this one to set me off.   I suppose it is me not listening to the Spirit rather than how the message was delivered. This is why we have so many speakers often speaking to us about the same topic.  Not everyone resonates with everybody else.  Some talks will touch some people while others allow their minds to wander and as I pointed out before, we don't all receive the same message.  I'm happy that Jenna was able to take away something more positive than I.  I really am grateful for diversity.  All of us need that.   

Friday, October 6, 2017

From What I Recall . . .

            I think my favorite talk for this past conference was this one given by Elder Ronald A. Rasband.   

He talked about a subject that I have touched on my blog before.  I was reminded of a post I created just over a year and a half ago.  I had briefly discussed Wendy Ulrich's book "Habits of Happiness".  The particular subject was "Don't try to get  Help from your Problems" - in other words, ask God to help you make your weaknesses become strengths - rely upon Him as the path you thought you may have chosen isn't necessarily the right one for you.


            It is interesting that so many of us can listen to or read the same exact talk and walk away from it with a different interpretation than another might - just as with the parables the Savior would deliver to those who would listen and those who were in tune (or are in tune) with the spirit will take from it what is needed in our life at that moment.

            I know there have been many unwilling to accept that the course of the path they travel is perhaps the best plan for them - or perhaps they are supposed to meet or influence others that they might not if circumstances were different.  Sometimes we feel that a situation might be better if we hadn't been at "the wrong place at the wrong time" but how do we know it was wrong.  Maybe it was a part of Heavenly Father's plan all along.  Maybe we had to overcome challenges to learn humility or some other lesson.  Maybe we need to set an example for somebody else.  

            In this post I compared Merida (from "Brave") and her desires to what was expected, what was desired, and how the course hadn't even been close to what had been expected - but had helped her to grow nonetheless. 


            Although Elder John D. Pingree's talk (here) seemed more aimed toward missionary work, it also reminded me of the examples that I used just trying to make it through our everyday lives and how to incorporate these four steps into helping others through service and talents and allowing ourselves to grow from our trials and use that to help others also.



Electronic Gremlins Have Not Gone Away

            For the last five weeks or so, I've had instructors stress the importance of using reliable computers and Internet because if an assessment is turned in incomplete or daily checkpoints aren't answered, there is nothing they can do about it.  It's been emphasized before, but I hadn't noticed as much as I have the last four or five weeks.  Apparently there are electronic gremlins invading the entire school - and not just the students.

            I recall the instructors having their turn with Zoom issues and recently the electronic bugs have spread themselves to all workers - I'm thinking even the technicians although I can't say for certain.

                On Tuesday there were facebook reminders that summarized Roland's birthday on various years.  He was sick on the last two  birthdays we had lived in Utah.  This year he was visited by Electronic Gremlins - he has been unable do his work efficiently as there seems to be an issue with the computers.  At first he thought it was the Internet as the Netgear wasn't blinking. 

            "Oh, great," I thought. "If Roland isn't getting Internet than I'm certainly not getting it."

            I am normally the first one to lose Internet access.  Sometimes I'll pull out the laptop to see if it's a Wi-Fi thing or a computer thing.  I actually haven't even bothered with the laptop much these last two weeks.  But the Internet seemed to be working fine for me.  That's a switch.  Me with Internet.  Him Without.  It felt like he was using something slower than dial-up.  Still feels that way.  He does have his laptop from when he took graphic arts.  He says that has been working faster for him.  That is sad.  His Mac is one of the slowest systems I have ever used in my life.

            It seems there's always an issue with the computers - if not with the instructors,  the students can't get in or else the other workers that are not instructors - which is Roland's case.  I turned in my assignment and took the assessment yesterday and am grateful to have it behind me as I can no longer get in.  Hopefully they will have it resolved before Monday - though it doesn't appear to be promising.

            Roland doesn't have his phone and so has been borrowing mine to keep in touch with what may (or may not) be going on.  He's afraid to leave his computer in case he is required to do something from his end.  Oh, the joys of modern technology and interference.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Treat Others With Respect

     I started my blog on New Year's 2012.  My goal was to create a new post for each day.  My goal was to keep them positive.  For the most part, I think they were.  It appears that I had been faithful about blogging each day for the first few months, and then it tapered off into at least 20 posts, but by summer it was less.  I had a great excuse though.  Jenna was home from school and I needed to spend time with her and not on the computer.

        December came and I was once again going to post every day.  All of my posts would center around Christmas.  I didn't want to be so cold as to not acknowledge the shootings on the 14th at Sandy Hooks elementary in Newton Connecticut.  Innocent children . . .

        I did not mention any other shootings . . . my blog had somehow turned into thoughts on dementia, assisted living, transportation and weather . . . it isn't because I didn't feel or grieve.  I feel sad, I feel anger - my emotions are not different from any other.  I wasn't trying to avoid the topic by not mentioning what has happened - way too many times.  I haven't felt my words on the subject would be of any comfort or interest or have relevance.

        Two years before the shootings happened in Las Vegas, I heard about the shootings that happed at Umpqua Community College.  We were still new to the area.  I had such a great respect for our community at that time as it appeared the entire county had pulled together during this tragic event.  Two years later (both took place October 1st) I am reading facebook posts from both Corey and Joh that they are alright.  Oh, but I fail to mention Orlando and all the other shootings (Trevor Noah, here, says there's been over 20 in just the last two years) . . . what is wrong with us?           

        As I was reading the summary of Bonnie Oscarson's talk (found here)  she says "we are touched when we see the suffering and great needs to those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs or friendship siting right next to us in class?"  Actually, I think that was the theme of conference as it was mentioned in several other talks in all six meetings.

        I cannot say if all  the shooters have been bullied - though I think it's a safe guess.  What evidence have been researched into these people's backgrounds?  What is it that they have in common?  Were they mistreated by others until one day they just snapped?  We don't even know why they did it as they ended up turning the gun on themselves.  The police make speculations.  The media makes speculations.  I'm making the speculation that each of these men (or boys) had been mistreated by others. 

        Be kind to others.  Treat people as you would want to be treated.  Make time to understand if not to love.  Treat people decent.

        Remember the poem  "Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me?"  What idealist thought that up?  Name calling and disrespect hurt people all the time.  How many innocent people were shot at because somebody snapped - possibly because they hadn't been treated kindly by another.  Think about it.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I'm Writing in First Person

          My head has all these half baked ideas slowly making their way to paper and even slower to the computer.  I did listen to most of conference and have comments about various talks.  Roland has finished his schooling and I feared he might become board, but we have projects lined up with even greater interruptions which I am hoping to explain.

          I'm certain that I mentioned somewhere that I am a slow reader and an even slower processor.  I'm grateful that I have only one class this time around as it looks like it will be a challenge. The material isn't necessarily boring as much as it is time consuming.  The class itself is on investments and the first week specifically covers real estate and property ownership and what all is included.  Fortunately I have Roland to help me.

          There are many terms I don't know, many laws I don't understand.  Of course "possession" varies from state to state.  For instance, Myrtle Creek is much more lenient about property rights and interference than was Salt Lake.  For instance properties must be maintained in all the cities within Salt Lake County, although I think there are some cities that are stricter than others and possibly send enforcers around with a ruler to measure each lawn to make certain that the grass has been cut down to the very inch it should be.  I know people who have been cited for "overgrown" lawns and weeds. In this part of Oregon, we are not even supposed to mow our lawns during fire season - which often includes more than just the months of summer. 

          Thus far my assignments have had to be 600+ words, but this time around I'm expected to have 750+.  I can do that if I use personal examples as I have many of them.  Trying include personal examples written in third person just feels weird.  The instructions don't say it has to be in third person. So I'm doing it in first. I'll let you know how it goes provided that I can find the time.  I hope to blog more about what seems important to me and don't have to neglect it researching a topic that I don't find as interesting.