Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Third Day of Christmas

        My brother had posted the above photo to facebook earlier this month and I thought it I would try doing these myself.  Day Three says to have lunch with someone you admire or run into today.  The chances of me "running into" anyone other than Roland would be slim - though he is someone I do admire.  I suppose I could have just had lunch with him but I actually chose another to come have lunch with me. 

        Aurelia lives  45 minutes away and I said that we could meet halfway - though I'm really not familiar with what eating places are offered half way.  It turns out that she had two appointments in Myrtle Creek and so had planned on being in town anyway.  Gosh, what gratitude she expressed for my rather simple meal.  Well, actually not the meal itself, but the incentive I had taken just to invite her.  I am grateful that I had as we both benefited in a largely positive way.

        Today I will remove three negatives from my life (I am hoping this will be a permanent good riddens) Roland and Jenna have both started Christmas vacation as of last night.  Today is technically the last day of school for this year but I've turned in all of my assignments and so forth for this week.  Because we're all on vacation (even though we won't be going anywhere) I probably won't be posting to my blog again until after Christmas - though I may try.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Don't Recall Ever Having Used a Charter Before

            Currently I am taking two classes through the University and one for the library.  All three are online.  Currently two have to do with project charters.

            I hadn't made the connection of the Grants Magic class being related to any of my schooling courses until after I contributed my thoughts to the discussion of my other charter class.  We were supposed to come up with a scenario in a situation gone wrong and how more productive it would have been to use a charter.  I had read some material and looked at countless videos and was still at a loss.  I sent a few links over to my husband and asked him to please review and dummy it down for me.  How would I possibly be able to explain how a charter would work for me if I haven't ever remembered using one before.

             Roland did come up with a situation that in which we had adapted the plan (or charter) of another but it really wasn't accurate to what I thought that I needed. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think a lot of trial and error has to take part before one actually knows what to plan. It wasn't just me that lacked understanding.  This particular week seems to have the entire class at a loss.  The scenario I finally came up with is one we are currently trying to smooth over, and that is the library staff and functions of the facility.

            As of now, our library is not even considered a public library by definition, but rather a third party operation.  There are many who are willing to assist in order to keep the existence of the library, but not everybody knows quite "how" to assist. Not everyone has been trained.  Not everyone is qualified to handle every aspect of what needs to be done.  Our leaders have been spread too thin or else haven't quite gotten the gist of all things either.

            My instructor had asked permission to use my example in her lecture.  Wow.  I must have had a better handle on it than I thought.   Still there are several class members who are still in the "Huh?" stage.  I answered one class mate using the example of Roger Bushell the great escape found here and here.  I wasn't able to create a project charter for the library as my understanding of the entire aspect is still limited.  In order to assist my fellow classmates with something visual, I also created this mock charter according to my own understanding and shared it with the class.

            I realize I've written many thoughts in this post that my average reader may not understand.  Welcome to My World!  This is where I am Roger Bushell had served in the British military during World War II and was known for planning and assisting in great escapes from prison camps.  When he arrived in what the Germans believed was an escape-proof camp, Roger was asked to assist with the largest escape on record.  Roger accepted the challenge and met each prisoner of the camp in order to utilize each skill so that the entire camp would be able to work together to make this escape.
          Now a written charter would not have worked as they couldn't risk having the German soldiers know what they were planning.  Several teams had been created to help the plan to move along.  Some teams would dig tunnels, some teams would hide the underground dirt,  there was even a team of prisoners practicing Christmas carols as a means to cover up the noise of the digging.  It was actually quite a genius plan.

          Without the verbal charter or organization of the teams and specific jobs of communicating and working together, the prisoners would have not been able to dig the tunnels or make their escape (WWII). Each of these team members would also have a project charter.  Danny (and Danny was not actually the leader in the movie, but was the only name I could think of) would assign his team members to dig certain parts of the tunnel and send another team member to collect something to hold the tunnels in place.  Hector would select music and pretend to lead his choir in beat with the hammer (or other tool being used) and the scavenger has to work with all groups to learn what is needed and what to steal or trade.  Probably not the best example of a charter, but I think this is how it works.  I asked for the class or instructor to please correct me if I'm wrong - and perhaps add their own thoughts and fill in the blanks that I still don't understand.

            A proposal was made at the last library meeting I attended for four teams to work on finances, PR, training;  I forget the other.  I signed up for training.  We have a new check in/check out system (no longer on cards and pockets . . . yea!), public computer assistance and Dewey decimal filing that we need to take care of.  Those are the three big ones that I see. Each team should create a charter similar to that above and break each group down even further.

            We need to utilize the talents of our volunteers so that we can know how often to schedule, who specializes best in each area and how they will best work together.  I would really like the opportunity to assist in training and get to know each volunteer.  As of now, I really don't know many of the volunteers and so I don't know where their strengths are or where they feel most comfortable.


Project Charter. (2017). Retrieved from

Sturges, J (Director). (1963). The Great Escape [Motion Picture].

Squadron Leader Roger Joyce Bushell. (n.d.). Retrieved from Pegasus Archive:

World War Two – The Great Escape. (2016). Retrieved from History on the Net:


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reminiscing Memories and My Widowed Son

         I don't know how long my brother-in-law, Bill, had known his first wife before they had married.  They had dated in high school - I don't know if it was serious and if she waited for him to return from his mission, or if she just happened to be available when she returned.  It wasn't until her funeral that I had learned she had been born with eleven toes.  When she was still an infant, an operation was performed to remove the extra toe.

          Her mother spoke at her funeral and had mentioned that AnnaLeigh had been in and out of Primary Children's Hospital at least forty times before she turned eighteen. I'm guessing she had health problems when the two were married.  Six months after they were married, she was diagnosed with another medical problem.  I'm thinking Hodgkin's.  I know her health became a trial for both of them - though not many people saw it from Bill's attitude.  He remained positive and upbeat

          The first time my son Biff met Jeanie, she was driving.  He hadn't proposed to her until after she lost her driving privileges due to health.  I thought it admirable of him to want to take care of her.  Before they were married I told him to talk to Bill.  During their marriage, I told him to talk to Bill.  AnnaLeigh struggled with depression.  If Jeanie experienced depression, it was due to medications. 

        Her mood swings would often get out of control and there were times when she had been downright mean - mean to Biff, mean to her mom . . . which evidently was not in her nature either.  Last year her speech was slurred.   Biff's descriptions of her reminded me of describing one who has dementia.  He is with somebody else this Christmas.  Bill was with Kayla on his first Christmas without AnnaLeigh. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Buying Time With Emotions.

                I have just completed and turned in my assignment for my psychology class.  I should be working on my discussion post for my other class.  I am at such a loss as to come up with a scenario or a situation that makes sense in my mind.  The lecture does not take place until tomorrow.  I HATE when the lecture is on Wednesday.  I would like all my lectures on Monday - but not on the day that the lecture is due. 

          There are pre-recorded lectures from another instructor.  I don't follow his instructions as well as I do my own.  And though I can tell from her post what it is that is expected for the discussion post, I am still at a loss.  Writing a post for my blog won't help the situation either.  Many emotions have been triggered since I started this psychology class. 

          I notice the longest entries in my journal display anger or sadness.  I'm anti-social at those times but feel the need to vent.  When I am happy, I am more social.  I would rather inter-act with family members than write about it.

          During the lecture one question asked about how we feel about change.  Change is good overall I think.  I am better with change than I used to be, although it depends on WHAT change.  When I stop by a store to pick something up, I generally want to just get in and get out.  I have not made it a secret that I don't like shopping.  It's especially annoying when I know exactly where a product is located and the merchandise has been rearranged - change has put my product on another shelf in another aisle.  That is one example of when I don't do well with change.

          Jenna is really horrible at trying to deal with change.  When the school discontinues one ritual and starts another, she gets bothered.  But then again, she is a dramatic teenage girl.  I remember being in her shoes.  I'm happy to say that I am a lot better at rolling with the punches.

          Last year we had rain.  Buckets and buckets of it.  This year we have fog.  Change. I think I prefer the rain to the fog.

          This week we're learning the difference between sympathy, empathy and compassion.  She showed us a video that I had seen before.  I found humor in the character that wanted to silver-line everything.  You can find the link here. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Diversity Happens

            I can remember working for one company in which two part-time employees shared a desk.  Marilyn preferred having a mat on the floor in order to easily slide her chair under her desk, but Connie was in a wheel chair; it also slipped on the mat, but not in a positive way.  She did not want the mat anywhere near the desk.

            Two different people.  Two different needs.  And who's to say either one of them may be wrong.  It is only one example of one size does not fit all.

            I had watched an interview once in which the interviewer discovered that Kelly Clarkson hides her trophies - or at least kept them away from public display. I can't find the reference however, but I remember thinking "Good for her." 
           I learned that my school will e-mail the Dean's List but send the President's List through the mail.   I wish they would just send them all through e-mail and save the paper;  If I truly want to frame or put in book or whatever, I can print my own.  I believe Roland would like to frame all of his.
           Yesterday he bought matching frames for his diplomas and his acceptance of Alpha Capa something.  Some people display their awards and diplomas and so forth as a way to say, "Look at me.  Look how good I am." Some people need that validation.  Others have struggled and are proud of what they've accomplished.  Then there's me - "I think I have it in a drawer somewhere?" Whatever.

            I have been forgetting things - more than usual.  It has bothered me that it happens more frequently than it used to.  Roland suggested that perhaps I'm not getting enough sleep.  That's acceptable.  He thinks I should lay down flat.  That will NOT make me sleep better.  I will lose more sleep trying to get  comfortable.  Roland says we both need to lose weight.  I agree.  But I don't think being thinner will help me to sleep flat.

            He likes the room warm like we're sleeping in an oven.  I would rather have it be refrigerator temperature.  He would like the opportunity of receiving a DNA kit and sending in his sample to get results.  I don't care who I'm related to or where I am from.  What possible difference will it make for me to know that?  That's a lot of money to spend. 

           I was going to send off for a kit to give him at Christmas, but even the least expensive one I can find still adds up to over 70 dollars by the time postage and handling  fixed into the price.  No. no. no.  Maybe later on down the road when we have more money and the price has gone down again.

            I can watch a movie by myself.  Often I prefer it.  It is easier to understand what is going on without verbal interruptions from a party NOT on the screen.  Roland insists on having my presence and has actually watched tons of movies that he wouldn't normally (and vice versa) just to be with me - which is flattering. But sometimes I would rather read a book - or blog or write letters.   I don't want to spread myself too thin that he feels ignored. Watching movies is  not a priority for me.  Sometimes I do have other obligations.

            Roland always seems to be in a hurry - whether by foot or by car.  I like to mingle and visit.  I don't enjoy driving fast.  I have always made my own slow lane.  He enjoys dressing up.  I used to, but have changed to casual and comfortable.  I prefer being prepared.  He seems to prefer putting things off.

            Two different people.  Who's to say either one of them may be wrong.  It is only one example of one size does not fit all. Two people may look at the same tree but each may see it in a different way.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fog seems to linger more in Tri City

        I was asked to help set up for the ward dinner.  There was still fog lingering when I left the house in Tri-City.  The clouds have always been to south of us, but seem to be making their way north. I had my headlights on but did not need them as the sun was blaring. 
        I drove to Myrtle Creek and took these pictures of the clouds surrounding TriCity.  I drove back and forth between the grange and our house.  The clouds had all lifted by the second trip.
        We stayed for the light parade.  It was fantastic!  After the last truck had gone by, people started heading to their cars.  Fog had started to settle in. There were large patches between the grange and our house. 

        Fog didn't seem as thick when we left for church this morning.  But it is starting to settle in again - mostly to the north and west of us.  I took this picture before I came into the house.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Fog Lingers Longer

           For the majority of the school year,  Jenna will leave to catch the bus and I will admire the clouds hanging so near the hills that I know it's creating a fog.

For the past three days the fog has been settling over the hill we are on.  It doesn't lift as quickly as it used to.  I don't like to drive in the fog.

western-oregon/David Davis, SeattleTimes
Yesterday I thought I would drive out to Dollar General and pay some bills along the way. The fog did not life until noon.  By then I had already stamped the envelopes and had them in the mailbox.  

Mail is collected later and school bus seems to be later at picking up.

Between 3:00 and 4:00 the sun makes its way across the sky and positions itself in a way that is irritating to drivers who are headed west.  And then the sun sets and the fog sets in again before the morning comes.

What is This?

       During one of my lectures, the instructor had included the following at the bottom of her slide

keep in mind that my view of this was about a forth this size

        It appeared to me that the person on the right was drinking a soda and the one on the left was looking through a telescope.   I thought the instructor had said something about cell phones and looked at the image again.  Yes, I suppose they could be cell phones.  It wasn't until I had adjusted the picture that I saw the line between the two props

        Oh, it's two cans and string communication!  That is what I can see here.  But I can still see a telescope and a soda bottle.

Friday, December 8, 2017

So Many Emotions

        I seem to be on an emotional kick since my psychology class started last week.  I've dealt with a lot of emotions the last couple of months - so have many members of my family and Jeanie's family as well.

        Jeanie is the late wife of my eldest son.  She passed in June and Biff stayed with his in-laws until November 1 or just the end of October.  Biff has experienced a lot of loneliness, some anger, not always positive emotion during his lifetime. He's most happy at the gym.  Working out gives him motivation.

        Jeanie was protective of him much of the time, but not always.  Often there would be meds or demons that would interfere with her thinking.  Sometimes she was nasty and would kick Biff out of the house and would not allow him to see Ali.  Many of us envisioned a repeat of Roland's choices.

        Biff has felt a bit smothered by his in-laws - he thinks they interfere, but I think it's a psychological need on their part.  They have already lost three children in the last eight years; the other two live out of state.  Their single daughter-in-law is living with a guy that she's not married to - which Biff had said was wrong.  Perhaps his in-laws were holding on too tightly to Biff.  He decided to move in with a girl he just starting dating.

        What!?!?  Are you out of your mind?!?  Everybody seems to share in the reaction.  Did you not just say it was wrong for your sister-in-law to be in that situation?  Do you remember what happened with dad and his battle with his ex-wife?  Don't you remember what happened to you?  ?????  All these emotions.  Brothers.  Sister.  Sisters-in-law.  Parents.  In-laws.  I felt so helpless reading through his mother-in-law's posts as she tried to come to terms with what had taken place.

        Some kind of dispute.  I don't know the details but I know Biff can be defensive.  I'd been shaking my head over the entire situation.

        On Monday or Tuesday I had started my assignment for psychology.  We are supposed to find at least five steps to create a strategy for better emotional health.  I had written one sentence - only one.  Kayla emailed me with a comment about Biff.  She said she noticed that he was dating and looked happy and thought it great that he had someone to spend the holidays with.

        I watched a video on emotions.  I was seeing Biff's emotions and not my own.  I am supposed to be the focus of my assignment, not him.  But I had words.  Written words and thoughts.  Enough for an assignment.  Guess I'll use it for a post.  Maybe not.  I saw the picture and had a change of heart.  His new girlfriend describes him with the same exact words that Jeanie did.  Exactly.  We had the following conversation:

Me:     "You look awesomely happy.  Good for you!"

Biff:      "I am [pause] other then the drama it causes with  [the in-laws] but definitely worth it"

Me:     "I'm sorry there's drama with the in-laws.  They're just worried about your decisions as they were/are the welfare of [widowed daughter-in-law]. Sometimes revelations happen that just can't be explained. Take Corey and Joh for instance"

Biff:      "That's true!  Did I tell you it was a revelation?  Because it really was!"

 Me:     "You didn't [say anything to me].  It was something that Kayla said, actually - that and a combination of emotion from my psychology class.

            He mentioned a personal documentation (aka his personal scriptures) that gave him some insight to assist his way of thinking.  I related as I had gone through the very same thing just over sixteen years ago.  I know my mom really had a problem with my sudden engagement to Roland - hey, so did I!  But it was revealed to me.  It was my personal revelation, not hers.  And nobody else is getting David's either.

            It's hard to think that we would actually be inspired to do something contrary to what we've been taught all along.  Why would it be okay to be deceitful (Gen. 20:11 - 12) or kill (1 Nephi 4:10) or to lay down with one unwed (Ruth 3) or why would it be okay to embrace homosexuality? 

        We don't know another's heart or his/her revelations.  We can pray that we may have peace based upon another's decision.  We may not get the same revelation, but that doesn't mean it isn't real. I'm more at peace with it than I was last month - or even just a few days ago.  I have my sister to thank for helping me turn my emotions from turmoil to joy. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thoughts About Yesterday

I think Roland woke me up
to ask me something
I don't remember what
I guess he didn't wake me
but I did get out of bed

I dragged myself into the
living room.  I don't even
know what time it was
Jenna asked me if I would
make her lunch.
I made a sandwich and
cut some potatoes and
the remaining ham and
put them in the crock pot with
2 cans of milk and a 
can of corn.

I went out to the shed
for bubble wrap and boxes
and started wrapping ornaments
to mail to the boys.
I had planned on sending letters and
the "legend of the candy cane" thought.

first package: Tony's family.  Large box. Extra
items.  First I put in bubble wrap for padding
boxes of cookie decorating kits
hats, ornaments.  Seal box.  Whoops.  Forgot
the letter. 
Go to computer.  Type and print letters.
Put Tony's in an envelope.  Tape it to
the box.

Next:  I open box of hats for Randy's family
wrap ornaments.  Take off tags.  Whoops. Hadn't
done that on Tony's either. 
Pack ornaments and hats
oh, and reindeer antlers for Devin. 
Packing is a bit tight.  I think I broke off
Santa's pom pom.
Reopen package for Tony's family.
Remove tags from the hats.  Reseal package.

Package for Biff.  Where are the socks I had?
Come on!  I had three sacks of ornaments.
One of the ornaments is missing.  I was frustrated
about it yesterday.  Stopped packing to look. 
Missing sock ornament is hanging in Jenna's room.
Did she even ask me about it?

Realize the mitten ornaments for Randy's family
are still on the table.  Break the seal on
that package.  Reseal.  Need a box for five
ornaments to send to Kayla and Bill.  Made
a special one for BJ.  It is a caterpillar.
All the boxes are too big.  I need a smaller box.
I could trade this for the one I packed for
Randy's family.  I break the seal again.

I realize that I have jumped from past to present
and back again.  My eyes are heavy.  I don't
think I had enough sleep.  Did not get much
accomplished yesterday as far as school goes.
I did get the packages sent off.  I started this
post after I finished this week's assignment
for one of my classes.  I turned it in last night.

Today I have to work on the assignment for
my other class.  I also have to respond to
two discussions and do my daily check points.
I did not start any of this last night as my mind
is ready to enter slumber land.  I will appreciate
it if it will just shut off a while and allow me to
get a good amount of needed sleep.
Starting a test now.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Attitude is Everything

          The discussion post this week is on being an effective leader.  We need to have examples about our emotional intelligence and what skills we need to improve on and how we would improve.  Roland is always coming up with ideas that I've never thought of.  I don't see myself as a leader and I knew that Roland would have some suggestions - one was my position in the family, which of course I hadn't considered.  I tried writing a few paragraphs about that - but each paragraph felt too biography and introductory and perhaps a little too horn-blowy - which is not what I wanted.  I don't know how many times I changed it before I finally turned something in.  Meanwhile I have come up with some more thoughts for a blog post.

          I remember going to a wedding reception held outdoors.  I don't even recall what time of the year, but I remember the weather was cool but not cold.  There had been a few light breezes joined by a more powerful wind.  It had knocked over the wedding cake onto the ground.  Now there are many (I'm thinking more from bridezilla's point of view) that would be upset by it - but the wedding party - for the most part just smiled and said, "Oh, well"  

          It could have been an act - but with pleasure, they can honestly laugh about it now.  It really is a healthy thing to be able to laugh about a situation rather than get angry about it.  Our family would have never gone on family vacation if we couldn't laugh at the unexpected.  What family vacation has ever gone smooth?  Our problems were always with the car or the weather, sometimes both.

          Our muffler fell off in California.  I think it was our engine that died during our trip to Canada.  There'd been heavy rain during that trip but not like we had at Universal here

          I remember having a rooftop cargo carrier on our station wagon.  I think it was a wind that knocked it off.  My dad, normally calm and even tempered said in frustration, "Oh, just leave it" but the rest of us somehow believed it was worth saving.  Mom had a pair of panty hose that she cut into strips and she and my brother Patrick used them to tie it down to the roof, and three of us held it down while my dad continued to drive.  We may not have seen the humor in it back then, but it is hilarious to talk about it (or think about it) today.

          And then there was the time we just coming home - though I can't remember where.  My mom was driving our little orange Honda.  The car threw a rod and she pulled over.  She chose to walk to get help and the rest of us stayed in the car.  We were fortunate as to where we broke down as we were entertained by watching hang gliders soaring through the sky.  It was awesome.  Had the car not stalled where it did, we would have not even noticed the hang gliders - though I don't think mom had the same positive experience as she chose to climb over some barb wire fencing in search of assistance. 

          There was another time when we had gone to the movies during a really cold season.  The doors had froze and wouldn't open - except for the hatchback.  We sent Corey through the hatchback and asked him if he could open the doors.  We weren't really surprised that he couldn't - I don't believe he was quite four years old at the time.  So Patrick and I (both pre-teens) also climbed in through the hatchback.  The doors wouldn't budge.  Too bad mom didn't think of giving Patrick the keys to the car to at least warm it up a little.  Mom was 8 months pregnant with Kayla.  She also climbed in through the hatchback.  What a memory. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

I'm Grateful I Joined the Board

                Before I applied to the position of a library board member, my neighbor had told me that the library could close.  I did not want to see that happen, and wondered if I would have something pertinent to bring to the table.  As I was the only person in Myrtle Creek to apply for the position, I ended up on the board.  Two months later it was announced that the libraries would close by the end of March.

            The Friends of the Myrtle Creek Library formed at the end of February, I believe.  I believe there were over 30 people who attended that first meeting.  I was in awe. Where were all those people been nine months before when the library had asked for another board member?

            No one had really been against keeping the library open.  The opposition had been to the tax increase - at any amount.  People are tired of paying taxes.  It was just one more setback in an already tight income.  The bill didn't pass.

            The friends group had been created to find volunteers who would be willing to staff and train and whatever was needed to keep the library going.  We were able to open in July and were given opportunity to endorse the summer reading program.  I had volunteered to be on the committee and had recruited Jenna.  We both had a lot of fun with it.

            I'm afraid I haven't given a lot of time to the library once the program ended.  I have worked at the library (which, by the way, isn't even considered a public but rather a third-party library) as a substitute, but haven't been on the schedule since the summer reading program as I don't always know my availability every four weeks - although I can pretty much count on Wednesdays and Saturdays as days I cannot volunteer.  Fridays would be my best day, but seems to be an inconvenient day for almost every other person and is not open.  Neither is Riddle Library.

            Aside from the children's reading program, I have probably spent just as much time going to Riddle Library as Myrtle Creek and have cards for both libraries.  I obtained a Riddle library card in June when Myrtle Creek was still closed.  Roland had wanted me to check out some audio books to listen to when we had returned to Utah for Jeanie's funeral.  Riddle seems to have a bigger turn-out in the way of teen programs also, and so I have taken Jenna to those.  Myrtle Creek is open 5 days a week with 4 hours each day; Riddle is open 3 days with 5 hours each day.  I haven't been to Canyonville yet. I just learned that Winston has also reopened.

            We just recently had a meeting with the board members from before the library closed.  It seems weird that we would continue with that as we have biweekly members with all of the group who can/are willing to attend.