Monday, January 16, 2017

Silly Celebrations

                We forgot it was Martin Luther King Day - though Jenna had mentioned it several times.  I would have just slept in had I remembered.  We have scheduled for Fed Ex to pick up Roland's broken computer (company expense)  and I was planning to send out three birthday cards - two I should have mailed on Friday.  If the schools are out, the post office is probably closed which makes me wonder if Fed Ex will reschedule also.  Currently they're supposed to be here anytime from 8-6.  There's a narrow window for you. 

                In addition to MLK it is also International Hot and Spicy Food Day - or so says the calendar.  Another holiday that Jenna and I will not be celebrating as we are both actually quite wimpy with our taste buds.  But she did celebrate hat day yesterday.  Every hat in the house she could find had been placed on her bed. 

                Each time she would go into her room (for whatever reason) she would change to wearing a different hat.  I posted this to her facebook account

                The day before that was "Dress Your Pet Day" - she finally made a purchase for two rubber duckies and decided to make those her "pets".  She dressed up her soap dispenser as a minister to "marry" the couple with LDS temple in the background (LOL)

                   Kayla had even taken pics of her two dogs wearing bunny ears; she said it was the best she could do about dressing them up.  I'm actually amazed that she was able to get a picture of one dog.  The other I haven't met, but he looked content in the photo.

                  Each day Jenna has posted which "holiday" it is and has actually peaked Kayla's interest.  If Jenna happens to miss a day, Kayla will mention it.  How funny.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Don't Teach Sunbeams Anymore

                I turned in my primary manual the week before Christmas.  It's been a while since I've taught Sunbeams though I have taught several classes in primary.  I remember having four different manuals that would rotate each year.  Apparently the sunbeam manual stays the same.  There are only three class names for the primary age children: Sunbeams, CTRs and Valiants.  The CTR classes are for 4 - 8 year olds and Valiants are from 9 until 12 when boys start attending Priesthood meetings and girls are put in Young Women.  When I had attended primary as a youth, each age group was given a separate name: Sunbeams, Stars, CTRs, Targeteers, Merrie Miss A and B, and Blazers. 

                  I don't know if I retrieved the sunbeam manual on Christmas Day or on New Years.  I knew I wouldn't be teaching on Christmas, but had prepared a lesson for New Year's Day.  As my only Sunbeam was absent from Church that day, I attended the adult Sunday School class and Relief Society instead.  It may have been my last opportunity to do so.  Maybe not.  

                Last Saturday the primary president called to ask if I though that Christopher was ready for CTR.  Fortunately I did not laugh as she was asking me seriously.  

                "I don't believe he's still ready to be in Sunbeams." I said.  I'd forgotten that he had turned three six months before he was put into my class and that he'll be turning four in February.  He definitely seems like he's at a two-year-old level still - both socially and physically.  

                Danny teaches the children that are from 9-11.  Her plate has been overflowing, particularly the last month and a half.  I have seen her dad only a few times since we moved to Oregon.  He has never made it through an entire Sacrament meeting. We've lived in Myrtle Creek for just over a year and a half;  I don't know how long before that his health started failing.  He's been in at least two different hospitals and a health care facility within the last month and a half.  I'm certain that all the commuting has drained the family.  They may have a funeral to plan.  With all that's been going on (plus personal illness) Danny hasn't been able to devote her attention to the lessons for her class. The primary president was calling to ask if I could take over until further notice and they would see about advancing Christopher to the CTR. (Good luck to that class)

                Well, I would much rather teach Danny's class the gospel than babysit Christopher for two hours.  He is the only one in primary (excluding the one in nursery) that is still in diapers.  It's highly possible that he has ADHD. And actually so does one of the students from the Valiant class.  He seemed calm last week, and I heard that Christopher did well last week also.  But both were extremely wound up today.

                Both Danny and the primary president had asked that when Danny returns that we could co-teach.  I'm okay with that.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Don't Wish to Be Normal or Average

                I always thought I was unique about seeing faces in patterns or saying a certain vegetable or color that is not the same one that everybody else thinks of.  Jenna has watched a lot of "Brain Games" and as I have watched it with her, I have discovered that I fall into the norm.  What?!  I don't want to be normal.  I want to embrace my differentness.  What differentness?

                Last night Roland and I were watching 20/20 (found here and here) in which Diane Sawyer interviewed a number of people and took us into a piece of their lives and I cried about the struggles of the average American working hard for so little - holding multiple jobs just to stay afloat.  And that is what most of us are doing - just staying afloat.

                My parents weren't the wealthiest of couples, but my dad was GREAT at math and budgeting. With the help of clipping coupons and knowing where to find the great bargains, mom and dad made it work.  They gave us everything with what little they had.  Every year my family would go on a vacation together.  Every year.  The one year that we couldn't afford to go on vacation, we spent each day doing family outings.  (see here and here)

                I had wanted to do that with my family whenever I had one.  I didn't know I would be so dirt poor that just going to the movies would break us.  I know there are many who are better off than we are (financially anyway) but apparently we're still doing better than average.  And that's scary.  What kind of a nation are we living in that people are donating their plasma to make ends meet or try to provide their child with a birthday gift or sleeping in their cars during the day so that they can taxi other workers home at day's end?

                Why is a firefighter doubling as a paramedic not getting paid a decent salary?  Firefighters put their lives on the line for us and they're only getting minimum wage?  What kind of crock is that? Why are so many educators working second and third jobs?  Why are so many people spending so many hours apart from those they are trying to support?

                This morning we were watching a documentary on the roots of Joseph Smith - how his father had been cheated out of a sale made, how the family moved from place to place and continued to struggle.  Evidently, we stand in good company.

                We have always had a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear.  Currently, Roland does not have to travel to work which saves for gas money and wear and tear on the car.  He hasn't had to spend 2-6 hours on the road to get to McDonald's just to make ends meet.  We have been blessed.  

                I still would like to take our entire family on vacation.  I'd like for all of us to go to Disneyland in October.  That is when mom and dad were married, and that is where they spent their honeymoon.  It would be hurtful to go at the expense of somebody else - struggling just to put food on the table.  It makes me sad.  It would be truly amazing if Trump could single-handedly turn us around.  Six more days.  Kayla's birthday.  What a thrill getting a new president inaugurated every four birthdays.  LOL

Friday, January 13, 2017

What is Wrong With Us?

            I don't know why, but my entire household was awake at 3:30 this morning.  Granted, there only three of us, but still . . .

            After 6:00 pm last night, Roland continued nodding until he finally went to bed.  As usual, I fell asleep on the couch.  At 3:30 I got up and noticed the television light was on from the bedroom.  I got in bed with Roland and asked why he was up.  Apparently, he had been awake since 2:00.  And then I could hear Jenna stirring.

            Roland went into his office while I attempted to fall back asleep.  It wasn't working and so I got up and signed in on my computer.  Roland's computer meanwhile had shut down and he hasn't been able to get it to come back up, thus he is not even at work today.  He called the school.  They are sending him a laptop as he is the only employee still on the PC.  Wow.

            So he went into the kitchen at 4:00 this morning and made breakfast for me, and then Jenna got up and he made breakfast for her.  I don't recall ever having family breakfast at 4:30 in the morning before.  After we finished, Jenna and I got on YouTube and watched a couple of "rubber duck" videos.  I had recorded this one for her when we had lived in Kearns.  She hadn't remembered it. 

            I actually don't get much done when Roland isn't on the computer.  I don't really have a reason to be on my computer today.  Finished with my classes.  Not doing well this week, I'm afraid.  Perhaps I've been more focused on other projects I have in the fire - like the flannel board stories, and scrapbooking a quiet book for my two granddaughters who will be two in August (gives me enough time to print in conserving amounts instead of trying to print 40 plus pages all at once)

            My computer is being major slow today.  Perhaps there's a gremlin in our house biting into the computer wires.  Perhaps Roland and I will go for a walk in the park and run a few errands.  I'm quite certain we'll both be taking naps before the day comes to an end. 
            Today is rubber duck day.  Jenna wants to celebrate.  She has always been an avid fan of rubber duckies.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Clyde Meadows - pharmacist

                The 10th was "houseplant appreciation day" - initially Jenna and I had decided to purchase a plant and take it to our local pharmacist today in honor of "national pharmacist day" but as we are limited on funds this month, I decided to spotlight a specific pharmacist instead.  Unfortunately, I don't have the biographical account that I had hoped for.

                If indeed I have the right Clyde Meadows was born on May 26, 1936 in Salt Lake City.  He graduated from the University of Utah (though I don't know what year) He lived on Coronet Dr. in Holladay as of 1981 and worked at a pharmacy in Murray, Utah.  

                Fashion Place did not open until 1972 but I believe Skaggs was there on the corner of State Street and 6100 South long before the mall came along.  Clyde worked there when the location was called Skaggs and when it changed hands to Osco and finally Rite-Aide.  I'm guessing he was there for over 40 years.

                Clyde was great!  Not just as a pharmacist but as a human being.  He could tell you where non-description drugs were located and make recommendations.  He was personable and super friendly.  I'm sad that I didn't know him better.  Clyde passed away on February 27, 2008.  He was 71 years old.

                Thank you, Clyde, for all your years of service and for loving your job and the people that you served.  My mom and I both thought highly of you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Oregon Snow

                I didn't see snow on the mountains this morning, but the snow came down hard this afternoon.  It didn't stick.  Western Oregon is calling this a "harsh winter"  What we've had thus far has accounted for a rather mild winter according to Utah standards.  I have read so many complaints about the snow and health problems in Utah - even here in Oregon.  I've had a stupid cough, but I don't have the sinus infection that I'm certain would have returned several times even though I would go to the doctor for my z pack if I were living or even just visiting in Salt Lake right now.  I haven't actually been to a doctor in Oregon since September of last year.

                I guess because I had heard snowfall was/is rare in this part of Oregon, I have taken several pictures . . . and yet I wonder what it is about the snow that makes me continues.  Yesterday I realized the snow in Oregon is clean.  It falls to the ground white and remains white until it's gone.  The snow is often questionable when it first lands in Utah.  It doesn't stay white for very long.  Not the same white as Oregon snow.

                When we returned home from Church yesterday, Jenna was excited to see the waterfall in our yard had forked.  She shrieked with delight, "Look!  We have two waterfalls!  Come here mom!  We have a pond!"

                I moved out of the car trying to avoid the "pond" that had formed in our red-neck driveway.  

                Roland went out to divert the water so that it runs into our neighbor's drain.  I saw him go out there.  I did not see him slip and fall.  He had a good attitude about it.  Came in covered with mud and laughing.  We no longer have a forked waterfall or a small lake surrounding our car.  Ah, the life . . . . 

ice path looked like dusted snow at first glance

waterfall split

waterfall fork repaired

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Poem for Argyle Day

We don't have argyle sweaters
for which we wear on walks
No argyle ties to speak of
and we don't have argyle socks

It's said that argyle day started
with a tribute to the Scottish fare
though I do have ancestors from Scotland
I have actually never been there

I may not have ancestors from the Clan Campbell
but perhaps they wore argyle kilts
and perhaps carried argyle umbrellas
and snuggled in argyle quilts

Thus we celebrate argyle day
still no sweater or socks to wear
so we made an argyle card and
I made this lame poem to share.

For more  ideas for Argyle day, see here

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Abnormal Weather and Our Wonderful Neighbors

          Yesterday I received a phone recording to inform me that school had been canceled.  Outside there was more snow than we had seen since arriving in Douglas County - not enough to close schools in Utah.  I remember taking Jenna to school when the snow was higher than she was - though I'm sure even Salt Lake would consider closing if the snow were actually as tall as she is now.

          Northern Utah is equipped with salt and bulldozers and snowplows, etc.  It's actually routine.  And the schools calendars account for snow days.  The citizens don't encounter the harsh weather in this part of Oregon - or so we've been told.  Bus drivers already have the challenge of a narrow and windy road with drops on either side.  They haven't been trained to deal with the elements of slick roads due to snow and ice.

          My son has complained about getting stuck in the snow, and Jenna offers no sympathy it has been her hope to have an opportunity to play in the white stuff as she did in Utah. Yesterday provided her that opportunity. She decided to spend her snow day sliding down hill. 

        She moved to an area closer to the house - closer to the pipe where the hose is connected.  She crashed into the pipe and we had a fountain in our yard for about 20 minutes.  We're not blaming her.  I think the person who sold the house tried to cover up the flaws rather than repair them.  I honestly believe the weak pipe was one of those flaws.

          Plumbers aren't as available here as they are in Salt Lake.  Contractors, electricians and so forth might live within the county, but it's highly probable that they come from another county altogether.  I don't even remember who we called, but I thought it would take a while and wanted the water shut off so that we wouldn't have to be billed for the ice skating rink that was starting to form in our yard.  

          After the water was shut off, our neighbor from behind us drove around to assist.  I don't know if he's a licensed plumber, but he's certainly less costly and just as efficient.  Roland was still on the clock as he tried to remove the water from the pipe so that our neighbor could repair.  They turned the water back on and everything seems to be working.  We covered the pipe so it didn't freeze overnight.

          Buses were delayed again for two hours this morning.  The snow can be seen on some of the hilltops, but no longer on the trees.  I suspect any snow that can be seen from the house will be gone by the time Jenna returns.

           After she had gone to school on Tuesday, I had purchased some chocolate cherries for Cherry Chocolate Day.  We held our candy upside down so that they looked like cups and we made a pretend toast. 

          Yesterday we made up questionnaires and looked up trivia games on line as it was trivia day.  Today is whipped cream day.  Before she left the house I had her listen to "Whipped Cream" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (here) and we started watching the 1961 version of the parent trap as I thought the twins might have worn whipped cream on their faces in the scene where they are fighting during the dance at camp.  They don't.  But it almost looks like it could be on one face.

          We did not finish.  We will watch the remaining 45 minutes after she gets home.  Maybe we could even make and eat whipped cream.  We'll see.  We obviously can't make purchases for every single (non) holiday.  That would get too expensive.