Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fix Or Repair Daily

         My mom had a Ford Escort – which seemed to be a good little car overall.  I don’t remember having had to take it to the mechanic on a regular basis.  It did have its little quirks, but nothing major.  Not that I’m aware of anyway.

         Not that we ever wanted to, but we couldn’t drive over 70.  The car would shake and vibrate as if ready to explode. We learned that by accident when on a stretch of highway that seemed to have no traffic. I was often surprised when it didn’t fall apart on us.

         When going to get gas, mom wanted someone with her. The small door that closes over the gas cap had to be opened from the car – but it would stick.  Having someone push open the door while someone pulled the lever behind the steering wheel made it easier than stretching one’s body while pulling the lever by hand and trying to unstick the door with the foot – or finally asking some stranger for assistance.

         Mom would often leave the door open just in case she was ever caught without companionship.  Without fail, some “good Samaritan” would come along and push it closed.  Mom was annoyed by it – and though I understood why, I seemed somewhat grateful that others felt concerned enough to “look out for us”.


         Shortly after I was married, mom sold the car to Roland and me.  At that time he was driving a Dodge Caravan and gas was outrageous (or so I thought; 20.00 won’t fill a small car at present; I thought it disgraceful that we were spending that much to fill the Dodge.)  I told Roland under no circumstances was he allowed to drive the van unless all five us were in it (seems uncomprehend able that I thought it was such an outrageous sum at the time.  Can you imagine filling up a minivan on just 20.00 right now?)

         Roland would complain that the Escort windshield was so low to the ground that he couldn’t see anything ahead of him on the road.  And then one day he made a U-turn in the middle of our neighborhood street – thrilled with having the ability.  He also thought it was great that he could park in spaces where the van wouldn’t fit.

Mom and I took a lot of trips in that car.  Though I have a lot of memories of the car, I don’t miss having the car anymore.  I do miss my mom quite a bit.

Today we drive the Saturn that she drove.  It also has its quirks.  The one that drives me up the wall is when the heater/vent/AC unit goes on all by itself.  It will do it randomly – long after it’s been driven and just sitting in the driveway or parking lot or wherever – sounding like it’s possessed. 
It’s led a good life, but I think it may be time for something new.  Something that has more get up and go and doesn’t make me feel like I’m driving in neutral.  Funny I’d say that when I don’t even like to drive.  Perhaps Oregon will change that.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Letter to Two Cousins

Dear Lucy and Heather,

         I am sending two gifts that were made by your Grandma Kim.  I am sorry that you were unable to know her in the flesh.  She would have been thrilled about having granddaughters.  You appear to be the first in a long line of men – with your dad being the baby of five boys and Grandma Kim having had four boys and no girls of her own.

         Long before we celebrated Christmas in July, we used to go to Aunt Gertrude’s house each Christmas Eve to eat dinner and exchange gifts.  Aunt Gertrude told me that Aunt Lucy (who you may be named for?  - I know your middle name is after Aunt Gertrude) started the tradition several years before – though I do not remember having met Aunt Gertrude’s father or any of his sisters (Aunt Lucy being one of them)

         After your Grandpa Lynn had had joined the family, he encouraged your grandma to give out homemade gifts.  And really, those are the best kind. For me personally, they are the most memorable. I am certain that your dads will be able to provide memories of their own.

         I remember one gift, a mauve/pink tote bag with red trim and butterfly.  Unfortunately I wore that out and do not even have a picture to send.  But I do have a picture of Corey holding the lion that she made for him.  He would probably still have it except that Kayla and I threw it away when his room flooded.  But by then the lion had lost some fluff and stitching and was also in need of a bath (I would imagine) but the flooded with mildew just made it so much worse.  So this picture is the best I can do.

         I am sending the doll that Kayla had received.  It was played with by Ellen and Jenna as well.  And though Kayla has her own little girl who might also enjoy the doll, I thought it would be more meaningful to you to have something made by your grandma Kim.

This is not the actual doll.  I cannot believe I forgot to take a picture!

         I am also sending a tree that she had given me a different year. The colors matched the colors in my room (at that time) I call it “The Tree of Life”  as I am reminded of the story of Lehi’s dream whenever I look at it.

         Your Grandma Kim was very talented and always trying her hand at different crafts and art projects such as tole painting and scherenchinitte (which is cutting out silhouettes of paper - which I think is a lost art as there are now machines that will do it quicker) I think it’s great that your Grandpa Lynn had encouraged her to use her talents.  And I wanted to share at least two of those talents with you. 

tole painted lid from box

this example of scherenchinitte
was taken from the internet.

         I am also enclosing some pictures – one of your grandma with my dad and their parents at a cabin (which I'm assuming was taken by Uncle Ross), one of your grandma with her mother (my grandma; your great-grandma) at their house on Edgecomb Dr. in Salt Lake City.  

         I know that you are both too young for these right now, but may you one day appreciate what it is I’m trying to do.  Lucy, may you take pride in your tree and Heather (who is still waiting to be born) may you find joy in your doll.

         I hope these are helpful things are helpful to both of you and that you will treasure these things.  And perhaps one day you can pass them on to your granddaughters and they can then be considered heirlooms.

         Love, LaTiesha
                           (your first cousin, once removed)


Saturday, May 23, 2015

No Yard Sale Today!

            I think I mentioned earlier how much Jenna would really like to do a yard sale.  And we have tons that we won’t be taking with us to Oregon.  But it has rained nearly every day since spring break.  Definitely every weekend.  Actually, it did not rain in our neighborhood today.  The weather was between cool and cold.

            I’ve seen others setting up for yard sales last weekend and the weekend before.  It is awesomely nice weather – not too hot, not too cold – but unpredictable.  Wet.  I don’t know that it’s been worth the time and effort for people to have dragged product out into their yard only to drag it back in so it doesn’t get wet.

            We never advertised.  I didn’t see the point.  Tony and Rochelle are moving in.  They told us just to leave everything and they would just take care of it.  HALLELUJAH!  I’m game.  That is so awesomely cool.  And then they can have the yard sell if they choose, or throw away, or hoard or use or whatever.  I am happy to know that so many books will be looked at and read by Ester and Rochelle.  I’m happy to know that my memories will be taken care of and that some may stay in Utah for as long as Tony and Rochelle choose to stay.  I actually think that Tony is more excited about moving in than I am with moving to Oregon – and that’s pretty excited.  My sinuses have not been doing well.  One would think that we’d have greater precipitation levels than we do – but it’s actually quite pathetic.  So are my sinuses.

            We still don’t have an actual address in Oregon, but we’re getting close.  We may be moving to Maybury (LOL) with a population of 3,000 (perhaps that’s larger than Maybury and Mt. Pilot combined?)

            I’ve packed so many boxes.  There’s still so much more to pack.  It’s been hard trying to do it by myself.  But then, I probably won’t be a big help when Richard starts to on-load and off-load the truck.  I guess we’ll have better knowledge of when we’ll be leaving after this weekend is through.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Four College Students and a Bunny

            Last night we had four college students spend the night as they travel from Vermont (where they go to school) to Oregon (where at least one of them live)

            We actually just met Sam, Simon, Julia and Jen last night when they arrived. Sam had made arrangements with Roland – although his mom had given him my number, I couldn’t seem to return his call from my phone.

            I had somehow believed hat we had plenty of sleeping bags.  I pulled out two sleeping bags from the shed – (it turned out that one of those was actually just a blanket) and one from Jaime’s room.  There was another that I couldn’t reach.  But Sam could.  He pulled it down with no problems.

            While we were outside, he spotted a bunny.  I had never seen a wild bunny before and wondered if it was actually someone’s pet.  There are a lot of busy roads between here and the wild.  How in the world?

            Before I started asking our neighbors if anyone knew who the bunny might belong to, I opened the door to the house and told Jenna to come look at the bunny.  When I returned, Jen was holding the bunny and Jenna and the three other students had gathered around and were taking pictures with their cell phones. Jenna later told me that it was Simon who had caught the bunny.

            The weather was overcast and I think the girls were cold.  I had Jenna retrieve a box from the back porch and we put the bunny in the open box and gave him (or her) some spinach and water.  I put the bunny under the table so it wouldn’t get stepped on or into.

            Before I went to bed, I noticed the spinach was gone, and put out some more.  I had looked bunnies on line, what to feed them and how often, but wasn’t finding a satisfactory answer.  The spinach was gone.

            At 4:00 this morning, I got up and put some more spinach in the box – the rest of it actually. 

            At 5:00, I heard the front door open and close.  I rushed out to see if the gang would like to take banana and/or boiled eggs with them. I was about to open the door to go out when Julia came in with a bag of garbage to throw away.  I asked if they wanted to have the bananas and eggs.  She said she thought they were okay.  I asked if they had slept okay.  She said they had and thanked me.  And then they were gone.  And actually, so was the bunny.

            I just received a fb message from Sam.  It said: “We have the rabbit, and we plan on releasing it into the wild somewhere outside of the city, so it has less of a chance of getting hit by a car. I hope this puts your mind at ease, as it's a mystery that has been solved now. “  I think that’s cool for them to do that!  I just hope it wasn’t somebody’s pet.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Time Traveling Through Family History

My mom was a teenager in the 50’s at a time when the cinemas offered either beach pictures or lame science fiction.  Some of those science fiction movies indicated the possibility of man one day traveling to the moon.  Of course that was never going to happen.  Mom didn’t believe that traveling to the moon would be possible.  Yet almost two decades later (1969) Neil Armstrong was the first man to step foot on the moon on the moon.  

The moon travel is just one of many realities that started out as science fiction.  The cast of Star Trek used cell phones long before they were introduced to planet earth.

Before mom got dementia, she believed that it was possible for time travel to be invented.  I did not agree with her reasoning, but now I wonder.

As mentioned before, I have been taking a family history class – more for Roland’s sake than my own.  We have been challenged to find a particular ancestor to find ancestors for.  We no longer have the four and five generation family tree pedigree chart, but rather a 7 - 9 generation fan chart.

I found several holes in my fan.  The most bare spots above my 2nd great grandmother, Augusta Emilie Larsen – provided that is even her correct name.

I now believe that time travel will exist.  A girl who could be named Courtney Wells or Stella Featherstone for example (we have idea what the name is on her birth certificate) will be born and travel back in time.  She will end up somewhere in Norway and will have a case of amnesia.  

 Others may show compassion toward her and give her a name.  They will call her Augustine and she may be living in a home of a family called Larsen and she will be raised there before she meets my great-great grandfather.  He will bring her to the United States and we will lose track of her again.  Perhaps she found her time machine and went forward to the future on September 19, 1920 in Cook, Illinois. 

The reason that I cannot find any parents for Augustine Emilie Larsen is because they haven’t been born yet.  That is my story and I am sticking with it.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Starting to Pack

Initially when we told the boys that we’d be moving, we asked Tony and Rochelle if they’d like to move in.  Not playing favorites – it’s just that the other two are already paying a lower rent than we’d be charging.  We won’t be making any money – we just can’t afford two mortgages (one in Oregon and one in Utah)

     At first Tony said no.  He didn’t realize that what we had to offer was/is a bargain – until he shopped around on his own.  Two bedroom one bath apartments cost more than our three bedroom two bath house – and we’ve 3 times the room – plus a huge yard. 

     Our neighbor from across the street suggested putting missionaries in.  I thought that would be an awesome idea!  I asked our ward mission leader to look into it.  Meanwhile Tony has decided that he wants to stay here after all.  And he’s looking forward to it.  And actually so am I.  The extra income would have been nice (as we would have charged 100 – 400 dollars more than our mortgage) but fewer items to pack or put in storage.  There are so many things (in the way of memorabilia mostly) that I can leave in the shed that I don’t wish to move to Oregon just yet.

     I’ve started packing up boxes already.  Three boxes of books to take.  Dozens of items to be donated or put into a yard sale (and then donate what doesn’t sell) Jenna has wanted to do a yard sale since we got here.  I think I can pack our winter things.  Won’t be taking much in the way of Christmas decorations.  I will be selling whatever Tony and Rochelle don’t want and leave the rest with them.

      I'm excited to have Tony and Rochelle in our ward (church) too.  I think they will make a nice asset and fit in well.

     May not be posts for a while.  I’ll be busy trying to organize what goes where.  Oh, the joys of moving!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Goodness, Gracious! Where’s My Head?

One day a month, Roland and I try to set up a double date with one of our boys and his wife.  At least two have suggested that we go see a play.  But we cannot just drop by a playhouse and expect to get tickets.  They have to be reserved.

In March we had gone to the park for picnic with Tony and Rochelle. After we got home I looked into buying theatre tickets for the date this month.  I purchased four tickets to Desert Star’s “Into the Hoods” for yesterday afternoon.  I first approached Jeanie and Biff.

Jeanie declined, as she and Biff would be celebrating their wedding anniversary – ALL DAY and Not With Us.  Okay.  If they had already made plans, no big deal.  I could call Randy and Carrie and if they couldn’t go, there’s my sister Kayla and her husband, Bill or we could go with Tony and Rochelle again – though they are notorious for NOT being on time – and that could put a damper on our plans.

Randy and Carrie had committed to go with us and had been looking forward to it for almost a month.

Meanwhile, it was announced in church (several times) that we had a “golden banquet” coming up for the seniors in the stake.  Theoretically I am too young to attend by myself – but Roland is of age and so I would attend, as I am his partner.  When it was first announced, I thought: “Oh, we’ll be able to attend.  We will be home by then.”

Before we went to Oregon, I had asked a friend if we could do lunch.  I think she shared with me her free days (while I was in Oregon) and I said I would call her when I got back.

You must understand that I have always had a mind for remembering things – from the past.  Future things, I’m not so good with – and never have been to be honest.  I set up phone reminders all the time (as I seldom ever look at the calendar) 

My last phone could remind me only when the phone was turned on. One cool function of my current phone is that the alarm will go off – even if the phone has not been turned on. Sometimes I have forgotten to switch the a.m. and p.m. to where it really needs to be, and have sometimes had my alarm go off when I am sleeping. I still have to have it in earshot to make it work in addition to having the right time.

Though I had returned to Utah physical, it took me a while for my mind to catch up – or perhaps it is in Oregon still. I had totally spaced calling my friend (I referred to her as Beth in an earlier post, but to set her apart from our friend, Beth, who lives in Oregon, I will refer to the Utah Beth as B} and contacted her after the fact with an apology (I had fallen asleep)

Roland said he thought the banquet was on Friday – or at least I thought that’s what he said.  We arrived to the banquet 22 – 24 hours ahead of everybody else.  Parking lot was empty.  We had already arranged for a sitter and so decided to take advantage of it and went out to dinner anyway (just not at the stake center as we had planned)

Yesterday my alarm went off about two hours before Randy and Carrie arrived.  I couldn’t figure out why I had set it up for so early

I don’t know why I somehow got it into my head that the 2:30 play started at 4:00 and so we did not even leave the house until 2:30.  We took Jenna to Sunny’s house and then went on our way to the theatre and wondered why we had to park out in the outskirts when we had given ourselves plenty of time.

When we got to the theatre we had learned that we had missed an hour of the play – rather than go in late, we were told that we could return on Wednesday if we would rather.  I liked that option.  I think so did they.  I think they had given our table away and apologized.  It wasn’t their fault.  They didn’t have to accommodate us.  I’m the one who had made the mistake.

We couldn’t return for Jenna.  She had been looking forward to her play-date with Sunny even more than the rest of us had been looking forward to the play.  Randy suggested that we check out the aquarium and so we spent our double date at the aquarium for two hours – until they closed.  


By then my mind had figured out why my alarm had gone off so early and remembered the first time I heard the announcement for the “golden banquet” and remembered thinking that we would have returned from our date by then. 

The aquarium was fun.  Spontaneous.  Crowded.  We didn’t have to have a reservation.  Perhaps that’s where we’ll take Biff and Jeanie – if Jeanie is up to it.


We will return to the theater on Wednesday for a second date with Carrie and Randy.  This time we will be taking Jenna.  It will be easier than to try to find a sitter that late in the night.  Plus I would like her to see it.  She will just have to be exhausted when she returns to school on Thursday.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Front Yard Evolution

There were two trees and
an ungroomed and ugly hedge in
front of our house when
we moved in.
One was a sad looking
pine tree and the other was
a trash tree. 
Both needed to
come down in my opinion. 
And actually so did
the hedge, but we
couldn’t afford it.

The trash tree was
the first to go. 
It was either borrow a small
amount of money to take it out, or
pay the neighbors an outrageous sum
down the road because the roots
were pushing into her driveway.

We cut the hedge each week and
slowly got rid of some of it. 
We had the remainder taken out
after mom died. 

Jenna loved the pine tree. 
She’d often climb the ugly thing.
She begged us to keep it always. 
But after the last wind,
Roland noticed that it was leaning,
and the short roots were lifting up. 
So now we are rid of that tree. 
And Jenna is sad. 
But it’s not as though we
were planning on taking it with us
to Oregon. 
She was going to lose it eventually

Currently we have a bunch of
short logs on our lawn. 
It still looks better than
the trees or hedge did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

My latest reading is a book written by Kathryn Fitzmaurice.  One funny thing about the book itself is that the book jacket is on upside down.  Onlookers may think I am truly weird when I laugh out loud and yet I appear to have the book upside down – but really, just the jacket is.  The library taped it down that way.  I don’t know whether mistakenly or as a symbolic gesture.

Destiny, Rewritten takes us on a journey through the eyes of a  sixth grader named Emily Elizabeth Davis.  She was named after Emily Dickinson because her free spirited, English-teaching mom wants the destiny of her daughter to become a poet much like Emily Dickinson.  Only the Emily telling the story doesn’t particularly care for poetry. She does like romance novels though and will often write letters to Danielle Steel.

Her mother had given her a book that she had purchased on the day before her daughter, Emily was born. It is The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson poems which she says contains over 700 pages. Emily's mom has scribbled notes in the margin to let her daughter know that this poem reminds me of the time you were born, this is when you did a certain thing in your life.  A treasured book that Emily will look at, but doesn’t seem to appreciate the way that her mother does - though she does look at it..

One day she asks the question about the identity of her father and is finally told that his name is written in the book with all the poems and notes.  But there are so many pages  that Emily doesn’t know where to begin.  Her mother reminds her that perhaps it isn’t in her destiny to push it. 

As Emily searches through the book, she is told she has a phone call.  While on the phone, her brother donates a box to good will.  It wasn’t even the right box.  Emily’s book hadn’t even been in either box, and suddenly it has been donated.

Much of this story has made me laugh out loud.  There is a chapter on comparing Laura Ingalls to Emily Dickinson and what an exciting life Laura Ingalls read and how boring her sister Mary was.  I thought that was hilarious.

My latest reading is about the search for the accidently-donated book.  Reading about overly organized Emily trying to change her destination has really put a smile on my face.  I highly recommend this book – even if it appears to be upside down.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Who is Grandma Beth?

      The week before we left for Oregon, I had gone to the school to pick up Jenna. I was reading a book from my own collection and not the library as the parking lot started to empty. I wondered if she was dawdling again before I realized it was Thursday and she has an after school program. So my choices were to go home and return or continue reading.  Or hey, I could just go to the library that was near her school.  I chose the latter.

       I looked through a few titles before picking up: “Girl’s Best Friend” from the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series by Leslie Margolis.  It was interesting enough, but thought it might be fun for Jenna and I to read together.  And so I continued to look for another book before I settled on “A Million Ways Home” by Diana Dorisi Winget.  I ended up reading both at the same time and proceeded to mix up the characters and plots – at least in the beginning.

      Both involved girls in 6th or 7th grade.  Both involved dogs – though Maggie walked dogs in New York while Poppy assisted at a shelter in Washington.

Jenna and I took turns reading aloud from “Girl’s Best Friend” – I often laughed at the wording from story.  When I read “A Million Ways Home” it was to myself.  I often cried.  Not a good book for me personally to read out loud.  I really did enjoy it.  It was the book I was trying to finish up before we went to Oregon.

The story starts out with Priscilla Parker (who goes by Poppy) in a children’s shelter.  She’d been placed there when her grandma had taken ill.  She believed that her grandma would get better.  She believed that she would be able to care for her when she left the hospital.  Her grandma could not return home after the hospital, but was sent to a nursing home to recuperate.  Poppy believed she could care for her grandma every bit as good as the rest home.  There was so much about her current situation that she did not understand.

Her own parents had been killed before Poppy turned one.  She had been left in her grandma’s care for all that time.  She tried to make the best of the situation at the shelter, but that’s NOT where she wanted to be.

In searching for her grandmother, and losing her way, Poppy witnesses a crime and is placed in a protective custody with the detective’s mother.  Poppy visits her grandmother – sometimes without permission and does her best to continue in protective custody so she doesn’t have to return to the shelter.

I feel for the character.  I feel her love.  I feel her pain.  I understand her choices.  I really loved this book.

After we got to Oregon, Jenna asked me, “Who is Grandma Beth?”

The first thing that came to mind was the book “A Million Ways Home” – as the name of Poppy’s grandmother is Beth.  But how would Jenna know that?  It wasn’t the book that we were reading together.  And then it occurred to me that I had mentioned that we’d be visiting “Graham and Beth” and Jenna had heard “Grandma Beth”

We never finished “Girl’s Best Friend” as she seemed to have lost interest and I returned it back to the library two days before it was due.  Perhaps we'll check it out again some other time.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weather Picture post

April 14th: wind blew so hard and fierce that mountains can't be seen

April 15th.  Taken from my house to street and across the way

April 15th.  My back yard

April 17th.  The field that leads to the school Jenna attends
snow dusted fields but no trace of snow in parking lot.  Notice the sprinklers turned on
laughed when I saw this on Sunny's facebook page with the caption:
This is what your snow looks like when you forget your sprinklers are on.

Sunny took this on April 15th also

April 17th afternoon

April 17th afternoon

new scarf and hat worn 15th and 16th