Monday, April 23, 2018

Puffer Fish Nests and Minus in Ministry

           Evidently, there was an agenda created for the stake conference that had to be changed after the general conference announcements.  originally there had been a meeting created for the priesthood which had been changed to all auxiliary leaders.  Roland was required to attend that one, but I was not.  I said I had wished to go to the adult meeting as I generally get more from it than from the Sunday morning meeting.  We both did.  My favorite talk was the first one given after the introduction and new agenda - all on the same topic - which was ministry.

            The first speaker was given permission to show a visual similar to this:

             Though displayed on the overhead screen, I did not notice the fish that she tried to point out.  I can barely see it in the above photo.   She gave a brief history of their discovery and why they exist.  It is the nest of a puffer fish.  The male works long in creating what may attract the female to come lay eggs.  She has a view of his creation, but he does not see the beauty because he does not have the same perception.  He doesn't see what he is building.

            Many of us who minister may spend so much time serving or "building" that we do not always see the results of that which we are doing.  She had done some in-depth research and learned that the root word of "ministry" "minis" in Midevil Latin means "minus" or less; to lose oneself in ministry making our problems less or "minus" from ourselves to add to another.  It was a really great talk.  I wish that I had taken better notes or that I could have posted while fresh in my mind.

            Roland is still not feeling well.  It is no longer physical, but emotional as well.  It didn't feel right to abandon him after our return home, but to stay with him and keep him company;  I didn't take great notes all during conference and I no longer seem to retain things as well as I use to.  Perhaps I will be able to make more sense of my notes and add more posts on the subject.  But this will have to do for now.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fresh Cut Hair

          I LOVE the feel of my hair right after it's been cut - the fact that I can run my fingers through it and shampoo it only once and have my scalp clean.  My hair doesn't grow long so much as it grows thick. I know there are many women who would love the problem of too much hair.  Though it does have its perks, it does take longer to find the scalp through thick hair.  It will also whip in the wind and either get in my mouth when I'm trying to eat or else it seems to tangle a lot more easily. I don't know how it's possible, but my hair seems to grow faster in Oregon than it did in Salt Lake.  Even my hairdresser was surprised as the pile hanging from my head as it hasn't been that long since she cut it before.

          I miss my hairdresser in Murray - one I had been going to for at least 30 years.  I believe she knows my hair better than I do.  The hairdresser I have now does a good job.  When I add color to my hair, I will only need one bottle and I will be able to douse it all.  With quite thick hair, it is really easy to miss many strands - especially those that are behind me.  Perhaps I ought to ask Jenna to assist me with it.  She is not a girly girl, however.  I don't know if she'll do a great job as she really doesn't care about appearance - hers or anybody else.

          Roland has been to two stake conference meetings and I have been to one.  The final takes place this morning.  Lots of changes taking place in the church right now.  Much to absorb.  I hope I have a much inspiring post to create tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Communication and Knowing my Child

            When Jenna was in preschool, the school district offered a course for parents to communicate with or discipline their children . . . I can't remember how it was worded.  Jenna was going through a whining stage and Roland and I both wished to assist her in overcoming.  Somewhere in my possession, I have the questionnaires as both Roland and I received our own packets of material.  Of course, I can't find them now to pull up an example except for the incentive charts found here.

            The questions were presented in a manner that may have led one to believe that the questions were about the children, but with each class and questionnaire, I felt like the class was really geared toward parenting and understanding ourselves.  It was a fun class, I thought and I really enjoyed getting acquainted with the instructor and some of the other parents.  There was a potluck dinner afterward and a nursery for the children.  It was something I truly did look forward to once a week.

            Jenna did eventually stop whining - but not until after the class had ended.  We were invited back the following year but had stopped attending as the material was exactly the same and we weren't quite ready for a "refresher" but I would review the material on my own every once in a while.  I had even scanned a lot of it, but haven't been able to find the connector to open the scans I had created.

            At the beginning of this school year, Jenna brought home a letter requesting parent/child representatives for a survey that is being conducted by the University of Oregon and child and family services.  Every three months they would send out two surveys - one for me and one for Jenna - to complete and send back.  Her survey was 9 pages.  Mine was always 17. 

            Each of us was supposed to fill out our own survey without discussing with the other.  But after we mailed them in, we would talk about what we had filled out.  For the most part, Jenna and I were right on track.  But I wonder how much different it may have been if Roland had been involved.  Questions included home life, peers, bullying, health, motivation, parenting and school involvement.  Some of my answers make it sound like I keep Jenna a prisoner . . . but there are no comment sections to explain why my answers sound like I watch her like a hawk at all times.  I don't - but because of the distance of where everything is, I generally have to either drive her or she will be picked up by another parental driver and so I generally do always know what Jenna is doing and with whom.

            We don't have the best eating habits.  We are all overweight.  But generally, we are happy.  Especially Jenna.  I enjoy when she is singing because I know she is happy.  I think often her singing grates on Roland's nerves.  He doesn't care for my contemporary Christian music either.  What's cool though is he will play Disney music.  He will blare up the Beetles when neither Jenna nor I are in the car with him.

            Jenna doesn't get bullied - or at least that she knows of.  I may have already mentioned it before, but her personality will actually frustrate bullies as she compliments or thanks them for their snide remarks or will ask the "bully" if he/she needs a hug.  Jenna doesn't believe that it is true, but there are several students who look up to and admire her.  She is well liked without being popular.

            We both wish she had that one true friend that she could hang out with.  She's a very friendly girl, but she doesn't hang out much with friends the way I did or had the opportunity to.  It helps that we have family home evening - a rarity compared to even her LDS peers here in Oregon.  I know she has friends in Utah who still do it.  It's a different world from when I grew up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

You May Want to Rethink That Name on Your Trailer

        Although the definition for Express means "to convey", I often associate the word with speed or convenience" - such as in "American Express" or "Federal Express"  or even the express lane on the freeway or supermarket checkout. 

I find it ironic that an "Express" would hold up the line of cars.

        I couldn't take a picture of the vehicle in front of the line as I wasn't directly behind it.  It wasn't a big deal really.  Eight cars driving 20 on a 45 road is no big deal. After all, the daily traffic in Salt Lake - which accounts for more than 8 to 10 cars - is a big deal.  8 - 10 cars would be neighborhood traffic,  but not a main road.

        I don't think I would have thought that much about it had I been in Salt Lake,  but 8 backed up cars is quite heavy traffic for MC - so I thought there was a bus making stops and possibly picking up students.  But I finally got a glimpse of the truck pulling trailer.  My view was the back of the trailer which read:

        I laughed.  Had it been in Salt Lake, I can guarantee you that most drivers would have been stressed - but then again in Salt Lake, one has the option of driving around - which they normally do at high speeds flipping off or honking at the lead driver who is slowing everybody down.

        Between 2:30 to 3:00 after school is definitely the heaviest I ever see with traffic in this area.  And still, it is less traffic than even the quietest streets in Salt Lake.  I like that!

Fill in the Blanks

My brother-in-law has been posting silly answers to questions he finds.  I have taken several of his topic post "questions" to create my own.  This will tell you a bit about me.

When I was little, I used to think things that happened in movies could work out in real life - like Mary Poppins flying away on her umbrella or half chicken half mammal could be produced by a mammal diligently sitting on the egg.  I don't know it was so much gullibility on my part as it was hopefulness.

I think the best place to sit on a bus is near the driver.  In Salt Lake, Jenna and I enjoyed talking with some of the morning route drivers.  It wasn't always an option as front seats are reserved for wheelchairs and those who don't/can't move around as well as the average person.  On long trips I'll sit in the back - generally from Fairbourne to Kayla's house, there was no other choice but the back. That was fine as it was a great distance. 

I am a huge fan of peanut butter and chocolate desserts

If I could be famous for anything, it would be motivational speaking.
 Between the city and the country, I’ll always pick the country - though not a remote country.  Somewhere between a country and a town.

My favorite day of the week is  Friday - usually, have completed class requirements by then.  Almost a free day.
The last time I had to call roadside assistance was because I had a flat tire - which I do know how to change; unfortunately, do not have the strength.

A film scene I love is in cool running when the four Jamaicans are applauded after carrying their sorry sled over the finish line.  My favorite line is when John Candy's character says to Derice:  "... a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one."

If I had a billion dollars to spend I would anonymously pay down many medical bills for various people.  Pay off my car, get a new transmission for the other car . . . . move my family to Oregon . . .  lots of things really.

The class I used to fall asleep in is ACCOUNTING - especially when the subject is stock and bonds.  (see here)

The greatest invention in human history is the camera, of course.

My role model as a child was my mom . . . but it took me many years to understand that.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Health, Happiness and Approximate Conversation

          Just before we got in the car to come home from church, Jenna had asked me what was wrong.  Evidently, I was wearing an expression of sadness or despair.  Perhaps I should not use quotes as I don't fully remember the conversation, but I'm going to use quotations anyway.  This is only an approximation.

          Jenna (playfully joking):  "Are you sad because you don't have choir practice?"

          Me (sarcastically;  keep in mind that I DO NOT have a great singing voice and would rather eat than practice):  "Oh, yes.  That must be it" 

          Jenna: "What's wrong?"

          At that exact moment in time, I was dreading money spent wastefully - but I don't wish to share my thoughts with her because I know she'll feel bad, and my fourteen-year-old shouldn't be concerned over family finances the way that I am.  Not that what I shared with her was any better - in fact, it was probably worse.

          "Oh, dad and I were watching program this morning about health and happiness in the workplace.  Dad has never been happy about this job that he has currently.  I think that's why he's been sick for so long. 

          "This morning's program interviewed a man who had a job that paid good money but he was not happy.  He quit his job to become a fireman which he loves, but he isn't even making a third of what he did.  But he is happier.  We're always making sacrifices.  Dad does his job to support us.  And now he has a boss who evidently attended the school of Hitler management and feels like he is walking on eggshells all of the time.  I think that's why he's been sick for so long.  He just can't seem to shake it.

          "My health has been so much better in Oregon than it was in Salt Lake.  I have been so much happier overall.  I don't feel as much stress.  But if we have to move again so dad can get his business started, I will be the one who is sick.  Accounting doesn't make me happy.  I don't want to be part of a business.  So either he is going to be sick or I am.

          "And I just learned another great Uncle has passed away this month.  He had dementia when he passed.  Uncle Ned had dementia too.  And my grandma may have had a touch of it after she was admitted to the hospital for the last time.  She had asked dad and me to take her home, but she didn't even know who we were."

          Jenna and I were both crying.  My mom had dementia.  Perhaps it's hereditary.  I'm 15-20 years younger than mom had been when she was diagnosed, but this "goldfish memory" thing seems to be more frequent.  It's highly probable that I'll get dementia also.

          There is only one traffic light downtown and another in Tri-City.  We were at the second light when I realized what the most recent "trigger" took place.  It hadn't anything to do with our current spending or our health. 
          "I hate primary," I said.  I have been in the primary for over 40 years of my life and I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of practicing for the annual program.  I really don't mind teaching, but I am tired of babysitting the children who don't wish to be there or just have no concept of why they're there.

          "I'm going to be stuck in primary forever!  The only way a person can ever get released from a calling is by developing a love for it so much that he/she doesn't want to be released.  That is when they get released.  That is how it works.  I am going to be stuck in primary forever because I don't love it.  On the plus side, I will never be called to be the Relief Society president."

          Jenna laughed.
          "No, I am serious.  I can't be in the primary and Relief Society at the same time." 

          Just before we reached our driveway, I shared another reason to be sad.  I think I'm allergic to chocolate.  And I LOVE chocolate.  I love chocolate more than I hate primary.  How awful and sad to love something that may not love you back.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ward Pot Luck and Games

            Our ward does a potluck lunch every second Wednesday.  Afterward, there is a group of us who stay to play games.  A counselor in the Relief Society is so good to send out reminders.  We usually have a really good attendance, but not always.

            The other day I decided that I wouldn't leave the house until about 12:30 or so which would put me there around clean up and I would get to play games with whoever was staying (as there are probably only 20% will stay for games) but my computer was being temperamental and kept freezing before I could finish my assignment.  And so I decided to turn it off and go to the luncheon.

            Wow.  Happy to have made that decision.  There were eight of us.  Holy cow.  I don't remember there ever being that few.  We did have a few more stragglers just before and after the prayer was offered.  We ended up with 15 people and eight dishes plus chips.  

            It is an early day for Jenna and so she will walk up to the church after school lets out though she hasn't been playing games with us. The hot games are Rummikub and Mexican Train.  She gets tired of playing only those two games - which I understand.  We have a couple who don't show any interest in word games or trivia and so I didn't know how "Scatergories" would be received by the group.  I learned that many were also happy about the introduction of something different that they all enjoyed and asked to play again.

            As we were getting ready to leave I made a comment about one of the dishes which I wanted to take home to Roland.  The one who had brought it gave me more than I thought I would need and with the game and the food, my sweater and bag, I had my hands full and was gathering my belongings and the last one out of the church.  

            When I returned home, the food was not in the car.  No!  I remembered carrying it out to the car.  At least I thought I had.  Roland said he had to return to the church to take care of him and I joined him on his quest as I thought it would be easier to retrace my own footsteps than try to explain to him where the food might be.

            Before we turned into the parking lot I saw the covered container still sitting outside on the sidewalk next to where I had parked the car.  Fortunately, it was covered as it was getting rained on.  Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  My memory lately has been like that of a goldfish. 

Those Are HUGE Pants

            The young women of the ward have been making pajama bottoms.  I don't know why Jenna picked out to mismatched designs.  Well, it is her personality.  The pants looked too big for me.  I was right.  They may be Jenna's correct length, but they have fallen off my waist twice already, and I am bigger around the middle than she is.

            The last part of the pajama bottoms was to pull a draw string through - which I had started, but stopped at the seam that joined the front and the back together.  I couldn't push th safety pin through the stitch.  Just as well.  The draw sting had been measured for Jenna's belly and not my own - therefore it would have been too small to tie.  I figured I could still wear them to bed.  I hadn't taken into consideration that they might fell down whenever I got up to go to the bathroom.  Oh, my.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Olde English Village

Before leaving the park, each of us participated in panning for treasure - which had its perks I suppose.  Jenna seemed to enjoy it anyway.

     I think I enjoyed the English Village the most - perhaps I was just intrigued by the detail of the authentic looking town.  

 Aside from eating and taking pictures, I don't recall doing anything special.  Mostly took pictures and waited for Jenna as she rode the ice mountain first by herself and then with Ashley.  They also went on the "Challenge of Mandor" a target shooting ride.  

As Jenna has enjoyed doing that on video game, I thought she would enjoy the actual ride.  I think they went on that twice also.

     I think perhaps most of the pictures I took were at Olde English Village.  I was in awe of how many I was able to get without a crowd of strangers in the photo.  Jenna took pictures of every nook and cranny.  

Jenna took this picture

the most people I had in a background shot

 She took as many photos with people as she did of props only in Olde English Village; in Storybook Lane there were more props and settings than photos of ourselves.

I had taken this one and most of the ones above

Jenna took this one of Gepetto and the Blue Fairy

we ate ice cream either here or across the way

24 blackbirds baked in a pie

     Enchanted Forest closes at 5:00 at this time of year.  We headed toward the parking lot just after  4:30 and got home a little after 7:00.  It was a fun day.  But unless I go back with small children, I really have no reason to return

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tofteville Western Town and Rides

     We took pictures of the girls in front of the jail in the western town, and Jenna took some more pictures of animatronics and other creations that unfortunately came out blurred.  I believe Jenna had gone on the ice mountain ride while Roland and I walked around Olde English Town.  The girls were hungry and so we ate at the Jolly Roger Inn located in the Olde English Village and watched a water show.  

     Many pictures were taken before we separated ways. The Opera House offers a 30-minute showing of the history of the enchanted forest and I was interested learning about the theme park (I wasn't aware at the time that it's available on YouTube - which is great as the enviroment is not the best for hearing the sounds on the screen; there are many louder noises distracting from the film).  I did not believe that Jenna would be interested (at this present time anyway; perhaps someday)and told her that if she and Ashley wanted to go on the rides, they could meet up with us at the opera house afterward.  But first, we went and got more food - which interested Ashley much more than the rides.


     I had told Jenna that if she planned to ride the log flume, she darn well better wear a poncho.  There was still a chill in the air, and wearing damp clothes would not help matters.  The first time Jenna went down the flume, Ashley was not with her.  I thought she would be sad, but the souvenir picture said otherwise.  

The smile tells all.  I told Ashley that she could have had her picture taken too and so she went with Jenna as she rode for the second time.  Ashley did not care for the ride at all.  Relunctly, she also went on the ice mountain with Jenna.  They met us in Olde English Village and ended up going to Olde English Village before we made our way back to Tofteville Western Town and Roland and Jenna both participated at the shooting gallery.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Enchanted Forest: Storybook Lane

     The "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" shoe was the last exhibit in Storybook Lane.   

There was a line to go through the shoe. It was the most crowded of anything else we had seen all day.  Roland pointed out to the slides below, and I went away from the shoe toward the bottom of the slide to get pictures of Ashley and Jenna coming down the slide.

I don't know if the slide required the purchase of tickets or not.  We had purchased each girl an all-day bracelet to go on the rides for as many times as they wanted.  It would have been less costly just to purchase individual tickets, but we didn't know. 

     After the shoe slide, we went to the carousel on our search for the theatre.  We also passed the haunted house which hadn't opened yet or was overcrowded with other guests.  We decided that we would hit it on our return from the outdoor theatre.  The theatre skit was cute.

     The feature was "Snow White and the Seven Dorks" - a skit acted out by three people.  The "dwarves" making a cameo appearance in a clever costume of acting person in middle holding up attached dolls on the costume so it appears that there are seven.  

     Jenna had my camera, and I should have retrieved it from her.  Initially, she and Ashley sat behind us but had moved and wasn't within my reach.  I took only a few pictures with my cell phone - but it didn't capture the detail of what we saw.  (I still have a flip phone, by the way.  Don't care for the touchscreen)

     After the show, the girls returned to the haunted house.  I don't know if we got something to eat before or after the log flume. I remember taking pictures of the tombstones between the haunted house and the Tofteville Western Town.  Tofte is the last name of the park creator and his family.  You can watch their story here.  Be warned, it is over 30 minutes, but I believe well worth the watch.