Sunday, July 21, 2019

Music Makes a Difference

CD from Peggy Bird

          A month before Jenna was born, my former neighbor and second mother, Peggy had given us twelve children’s books and a CD. I had exposed Jenna to music early in life.  Before she was born I would put headphones around my stomach and let her listen to Classical Baby and primary songs.

        As she got older, we would go to the library and check out CDs featuring Ronno, Bill Harley, Eric Herman and Patty Shukla.  We learned rhymes, rhythm, laughter and more.  Jenna was always singing – she’d sing songs we had learned and often she would just make up her own words and tunes.  Jenna has always been a happy girl.  She has always been confident. 

scrapbook page of my sister and her husband with Jenna and Anna

As I had mentioned in this post, we had listened to CDs that we played in her childhood. When she made the comment about Ronno’s songs having good messages, I gave him credit for giving her those messages – though she may not have understood them at two and three, the words must have entered her brain and the lyrics sent a sublimely message that has assisted in sharping her into a well-rounded person.    

even the silly animal songs have great messages

Here are some lyrics to a few of the songs (titles in bold) we had listened to:


I’m in control
Hey that’s  my goal
I’m in control of what I do
Only losers always lose it
I can choose to keep control.


I wish I could promise you’ll always be free
And I know that’s the same thing that you wish for me
But whatever life holds as its destiny
This alone I can guarantee

Till the winter blows warm
Till we reach the rainbow’s end
Till the rivers run up to meet the sun
I will be your friend


I can care, I can feel
This is how I know I’m real
I can care, so can you
We make miracles come true
When we care

I can care. Do my part
From the bottom of my heart
I can care. So can you
We make miracles come true
When we care

          You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the songs.  The messages still apply.  

           I know that music can shape our lives - so choose wisely.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

More Homonyms

Ate is the past tense of Eat.  I Like to eat food.  I Ate food yesterday.  Eight is the number that falls between 7 and 9.
There is a joke that says 7,8,9  but there is a play on words instead of saying Eight (8) you are saying Ate

Pain means sore or achy.  A pane is a panel of glass used in windows. I feel pain when I step on a broken pane.

A Bell is a thing that I ring to get someone's attention.  A Bail is a temporary release of someone in jail - usually for a payment.  A Bale of hay is the same as a bundle.  I can also have a bale of money to pay my friend's bail when he was thrown in jail for ringing his bell too loudly.

A chute is a slide for laundry or garbage - an easy way to send from one floor to another without having to carry it down.  To shoot is light a cannon or send fireworks in the sky.  I may also shoot or release an arrow toward a certain target.

principle is a truth or foundation.  A principal is the head honcho in the school.  I was once taught that a principal is my pal.  That is how I remember the spelling.

Not is a negative word meaning "NO".  I am NOT a professional speller.  I am also not through with this post. A knot is the result of how something is tied.  It prevents a rope or cord from coming loose.  A knot is often made intentionally, but sometimes it's not.

Red is a color.  And read is pronounced two different ways.  When it sounds like "red" it is the past tense of read - which sounds like reed. Read is something I do or have done to books or texts or memos. Reed has several meanings. I won't list them all but a couple.  A reed is a plant found in wet or marshy areas.  It is related to the grass plant.  A different type of reed is used in some wind instruments like the oboe or clarinet.  When air is blown over the reed, it will vibrate which contributes to the sound that the woodwind instrument makes.

The toe can be found at the end of my foot.  I have five toes on each foot. To tow is to pull something. Usually, we think of cars being towed after a crash or because of unauthorized parking.  Many centuries ago, the cords or tow lines were made of white fiber.  Some people who have really light blonde hair are referred to as towheads as a reminder of the color used on tow lines.

Dear is a term of endearment.  Most people start their letters with the word DEAR.  Deer is a kind of animal.  Deer can be singular or plural.

A herd is a group of animals. Some people may use a microphone or megaphone so that they may be heard.

Your is possessive meaning it belongs to you. You're means "you are" and Yore is an old fashion term meaning long ago.

 Yon is short for yonder which could mean "far away" or "clear over there".  It may have been a more popular word at the same time as yore.  When I yawn I am expressing that I am bored or tired.  Words like "yore" and "yon" tend to make me yawn

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Humid and Windy

                It’s been quite an unusual summer – not that I’m complaining.  I’M NOT!  I am definitely not.  I love this weather.  It has been a bit unpredictable, but really nice overall.

            Often the wind blows and so the outside temperature hasn’t often felt as hot as what it is.  Or else it will be overly humid, which I have not experienced a lot in this state, but had with I lived in Virginia.

            The humidity has kept the kept the fire conditions moderate which is a GREAT improvement from the smoke we had two years ago.

            Earlier I posted pictures of clouds.  Roland was taking a nap and I didn’t want to wake him, so rather than use my camera, I had taken pics with my cell phone – my flip phone.  Of course it didn’t capture the brilliance of what I actually saw.

            The last pic was the murky skies filled with humidity and not from smoke. 

            Jenna had waken me up at 4:45 anxious to get to the blueberry patch. She had invited her friend Marie to assist with picking.  I told her the gate doesn’t open until 6:00.  And I honestly thought it looked too dark to drive.  How did that happen?

            It has been overcast all day.  The girls paid no attention and kept busy.  When I returned for them six and a half hours later, they had picked 68 pounds of blueberries!  I will return them back to work tomorrow.

It hasn’t been especially hot today.  In fact, I wish I would have had a sock cap to cover my ears.  The heat will get to 80 by 6:00 and go back down.  Currently it is 74 degrees but feels at least ten degrees cooler. 

I love this weather.  This is what we came for.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Allow Me To Back Up a Bit . . .

          We had made arrangements with a local photographer to take some head shots of Jenna; we had planned to meet at Millsite on Monday morning.  We arrived at the park about 8:45 to find it packed with Bible Camp participants.  We texted the photographer to let her know and that we were headed to another park.  She took several shots before we parted ways . . . well, sort of.  Each of us was headed to the library but arrived at different times.

          We assisted with the children’s reading program before Jenna and I left to return home. After six we drove to the blueberry farm as I believed Evelyn was expecting us.  We were told we could stay and pick and probably we should have stayed an hour at least, but we left and said we’d return the next morning.

          Neither Jenna nor I were in a hurry to go home and so stopped off at Millsite.  Something was going on.  Bible Camp still?  The bouncy house was gone, but State Farm had its awning stand set up and we could see five or six people sitting on lawn chairs on the grass closest to the stage.  Jenna thought she recognized Savannah in the distance.  I didn’t have my glasses on.  I didn’t know.  We walked in the direction.  She waved as we passed.  Once we had walked and were heading toward the car, I asked if she wanted to walk by Savannah’s family again but close enough to talk to them.

          Savannah’s youngest brother practically flew out of his seat. 
          “Jenna!” he gave her a hug.

          Turns out that there was a showing of COCO.  I was not to stay as the sun would have set before the movie ended.  Savannah’s mom and brother asked grandpa if he’d be willing to dive Jenna home and so I left her there.  I fell asleep before she returned home and Roland sent me to bed and waited up for her.

          Yesterday I knocked on her door between 5:30 and 6:00. 

“Do I have to?” Jenna asked. “I want to sleep until 11:00.”

Wow.  Jenna rarely ever wants to sleep.  Getting up at 8:00 is sleeping in for her.

“If you want me to, I can call Evelyn and tell her we can’t make it until tomorrow.”

I think yesterday may have been better picking wise than today.  It seemed cooler because it was overcast.  But it was also muggy.  65% humidity.  What's up with that?  Last night I said I would take her this morning.  I also told her I would just stay with her.  

Meanwhile Roland had planned for us to go to the movie that they offer for the seniors on the third Wednesday of the month.  Dang.  I had forgotten!  But I did promise Jenna – though I guess I had agreed to go with him to the movies first.  I wasn’t about to take Jenna out and leave her there all day.  We stayed two and a half to three hours before returning home.  Roland was waiting in the driveway.

First time ever we had gone to the theater and the movie started right after we sat down.  We even had good seats.  I don’t know what interfered with my sinuses, but I was allergic to something!  Normally when my allergies act up, my right eye will be all itchy, sometimes the left – rarely both.  But both eyes were itching during the movie.  I was tearing up.  My nose was running.  I was sneezing uncontrollably.  It was as if someone had brought a bunch  of chrysanthemums to the theater.  There is a plant that doesn't agree with me (actually there are many but I believe that mums are the worst).  The overload of allergy sensation stopped somewhere between Winston and Myrtle Creek.  I haven’t had an allergy attack like that since living in Utah.  That was rough!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Dash #161The Proposal

          There was never a formal proposal on Roland’s part.  He said that he would get me a ring when he could afford one.  I told him that the ring was not important and he could just buy one from a vending machine.  So one day he presented me with a golden colored plastic band made of connecting hearts.  It was cute but made my finger turn green.  Eventually, I lost it.  I felt bad for sentimental reasons.

           Before the end of the year, Roland had purchased a simple gold band with a small diamond.  It was perfect.  When I had my tubular pregnancy, I had to remove all jewelry.  I was pretty out of it and had not bothered to put it back on – or maybe by that point, it needed to be adjusted.  I don’t know why I had left it in my jewelry box.  One of the boys had lost his keys and someone had found them and used them to break into our house.  My ring was stolen.
             Later after I got pregnant with Jenna, Roland decided he needed to replace my ring. Unfortunately, it was not as simple. My finger had swollen and having the ring on caused me pain.  It also made a permanent dent on my finger.  I took that off as well.

          After I had given birth, Roland presented with yet another ring – pretty much like the first but there were two diamonds – one quite smaller than the other.  One for me and one for Jenna.  It is the one I wear today.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I Haven’t Heard that Word for Three or Four Years

     I vaguely remember the facebook comments that were made after Devin Durrant’s talk given during the Sunday afternoon session in the October 2015 General Conference.  It was the first general conference we had watched after moving to Oregon.  I don’t know how focused I was on his talk.  I remember he used the word “Ponderize” though  I didn’t realize how often.  22 times according to this website.  Okay . . .

          I remember I had facebook friends who really liked the idea behind the word as it offered some sort of empowerment – 20% memorization and 80% pondering.  And then I had facebook friends who were overly irritated with the new made-up word.  How dare someone introduce as non-existing word into conference!  Would it be a trend?  I was indifferent and really didn’t care about the word one way or the other – although I may have leaned slightly toward those who were not in favor than those that were – just because my relationship with those that seemed to LOATHE the idea of PONDERIZATION were closer friends to me than the ones who seemed to love the new word.

          I hadn’t heard that word many times since – though I do remember the few times I did hear the word mentioned, I’d smile about the different comments made particularly from those who hated the word.  And then I forgot all about the very existence of the word until today.  The bishop’s wife used it in her talk.  I Googled the word to learn about where it had gone, not knowing a scandal had followed as a website was created within hours of Bro. Durrant’s talk.  The website was labeled as “Priest-craft” by some members.

          The Urban Dictionary (here) provides several definitions for the word “Ponderize” – the seventh definition is the one that had been used in conference.  Although it’s misfortune and most likely ego bruising, it’s the first definition that makes me laugh.  I must have a warped sense of humor.  I’m glad that Ponderize didn’t become the trendy word that I suppose it could have (I suppose because of the website scandal). I think if it had caught on, I would be rolling my eyes every time I hear it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Out With the Old . . .

I vaguely remember the toaster oven that my mom had purchased.  I thought it was a neat device for making things crisp.  One year, after being dissatisfied with the way the reheated pizza crust came out in the microwave, I had asked Roland for a toaster oven. The particular modle he had purchased was far more sophisticated than my mom’s had been.  I believe there were five settings to reheat, toast, broil and actually cook food.  But not an entire meal for three people. 

I didn’t dislike the toaster oven, but it wasn’t as fast as I believed my mom’s had been.  I had thought the waiting time had been longer than the microwave but not much more than an actual toaster.  I now believe it is equivalent to an actual oven.  Perhaps there is less wattage involved.  I don’t know.  My main desire for the toaster oven was to toast things that were too fat or messy for the actual toaster – but without the wait of an actual oven.  It wasn’t very time efficient in my opinion.  It got incredibly hot and I burned myself more than once on it.  It sucked up counter space.  Roland finally moved it out of reach at my request.  It has been out of reach ever since.

As I had mentioned in this post, we had been looking to replace the dining table.  I had tripped over the claws that shot out from the legs.  I was hoping to find a table with a middle pedlestool rather than four individual legs. We ended up with a table that has four legs.  The table came with five chairs all for the price of 45 dollars.  I didn’t necessarily want new chairs.  I like having chairs with wheels, but I guess these chairs are okay – especially since we spruced them up which ironically cost us more than the mor than the entire dining set.

I don’t believe our location is the most ideal for yard sales, but I suppose we could have tried to sale the table and chairs or just even left them on the curb with a note to take free.  Roland also suggested a friend who has been down on her luck for some time – though she did just land her first steady job since I’ve known her.  She said she wanted the dinette set but would not be able to get them until July 4.  Thus Roland put the dinette set in the shed figuring we would be rid of it within two weeks.  July 4 came and went and the dinette set was still in the shed in the way of everything else.

I have mentioned how I have been unable to sleep flat for most of my adult life.  I do well in recliners – well, some recliners anyway.  My legs have not been happy with the chair we had purchased at an estate sale two summers ago.  I know my lack of sleep is affecting my health – though not as bad as the smog we left behind in Salt Lake.  But, then again, it may be just a matter of time before the sleeping disorders ruin my health even more than the smog would have.

Thus Roland and I went out and purchased a new bed – one that will go up for me but can remain down for him.  It is being delivered today.  Meanwhile we had asked our friend (who still had yet to pick up the dinette set) if she would like the bed also.  He took it apart next day she said she would be available to come and pick it up.  I think he jumped the gun. 

The problem was that she does not have access to a vehicle to move furniture and neither do we.  She has another friend who has been experiencing some health problems volunteer to help her move, but his health (unfortunately) did not always jive with the schedule that had been set up – thus we had garbage bags full of bedding blocking our walking path from the hall to the front door.  I continued sleeping in the recliner and Roland would blow up a mattress which he placed on the frame of the bed until last night.  He slept on the floor last night and I tried to get comfortable on the couch.  I am soooooooooooo tired right now.

As annoyed as Roland and I both were at the cancellations and postponements of getting rid of the dinette, bed and recliner, I realize it was a blessing for me to have only spent one night on the couch.  Our friend showed up last night.  It all was hauled away including the toaster oven that had just been collecting dust. 

Our new bed has a frame – which is amazing as we have not had a bed frame for quite some time.  These are not the best pics as one camera needed to be charge and I could not seem to locate another and so took these with my cell phone.  I should sleep well tonight.

Strange Things

            I had gone to bed early on Thursday. Really early.  I don’t know why I was so exhausted.  I wish I had been that worn out last night.  Perhaps I would have slept better.
Yesterday I had awoken just after midnight and could not get back to sleep.  I left the room in hopes that watching TV would return me to slumberland.  Most every channel seemed to air infomercials and those that didn’t weren’t showing anything that interested me at that moment.  Thus I decided I would try Netflix.  I was told that the internet was out and a suggestion to check the cable.  What?  I was hoping to fall back asleep, not wake myself up to check chords – uh, no.  I don’t remember what it was that finally returned me to sleep.
            It was a while later when I heard Roland get up, but I was determined to sleep in for as long.  That was short-lived.

“Did you pay the internet this month?”

“It comes out automatically.”

“I can’t sign in.  Internet is not coming up.”

I tell him about the Netflix message.  How do we check to see if the Internet is out when we don’t have the Internet to check?

Roland tried to call our carrier, but his phone didn’t appear to be working and so he used mine.  I don’t think he got through.

He turned on the TV.  It appears that there is another hurricane in Louisiana.  One man interviewed remembers Katrina and over time you just get used to it.  I don’t think I’d hang around long enough to get used to it. I think I would be for moving away from Louisiana.

I wouldn’t think the conditions in Louisiana would have any bearing on Oregon’s internet, but you never know.

Roland suggests he drive to the Church or McDonald’s to see if he can get reception there.  No reception – neither place.  I had had my suspicions that it wasn’t just us who were without.  It came back on at 7:00.  I did not check my email until about 7:30.  That is when I found  Evelyn’s message and woke up Jenna.

Jenna stayed until 11:00 and I returned her last night for a couple of hours.  Evelyn came to the car with her and praised up and down how much she loves my child.  I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like Jenna. She really is a remarkable human being.
After one of the worst night’s sleep of my life, I drove Jenna back to the farm this morning.  I realized I hadn’t washed the windshield (which had been on my agenda) and my back window was fogged.  Really?  July?  I needed the defogger. 

For the first six miles, the speed limit goes from 45 to 35 to 30.  After that, there is a sign that ends Myrtle Creek and the speed zone.  I think there are some people who may actually drive it at 90.  Crazy fools!  There is absolutely no rationalization to doing that – especially on curvy roads that have a downward drop.  I don’t really want my car to end up in a tree because the driver behind me wants to drive like he’s in the Indianapolis 500.

Twenty minutes there, twenty minutes back and my back window still had dew on it when I pulled into the driveway, retrieved a baby wipe and washed the windows. I’m thinking it may not have been the best choice.  I am so so sleepy.  I will definitely be taking a nap this afternoon.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Volunteer to Payment

            This summer Jenna decided she would do some volunteer work at various places so that she could earn job recommendations for whenever the time should come for seeking actual employment.  Last year she had worked on stage at the theatre, but she hadn’t expected she would get paid for it.  The tips that were left were split among the cast members for their first show.  That was an unexpected bonus.  Jenna truly enjoys acting and was happy just to do that.

            On June 24 she had put in her time at the library – taking over my role as story lady.  Last week we went and picked blueberries – though not a lot.  We plan to return next week.

            It is three miles to get downtown from our house.  It is another five miles to the blueberry farm. I remember the farm had opened to the public the year that we moved in.  There had been a request for assistance with blueberry picking.  I thought the amount would perhaps be appealing to the youth as a summer job.  Evelyn said that is hard to find assistance.  As Jenna and I were driving home, inspiration hit me – perhaps she could volunteer to help pick blueberries.

            This morning I drove her out to the patch where she assisted with picking berries for about three hours.  Evelyn fed her and I came and picked her up, but will be returning her tonight after the temperatures have cooled down (the weather is no longer the wonderment I mentioned in my last post).  Evelyn is paying Jenna 50 cents a pound.  An added bonus and possibly even gas money. Evelyn also feeds her - which, in Jenna's case - seems more valuable than money.

            When we lived in West Valley, Jenna’s school was 2 miles away on straight roads.  It usually took us 20 minutes to get from our house to the school in Salt Lake Traffic.  It takes the same amount of time to get to the blueberry patch on windy roads and no to very little traffic.  Jaime is thrilled with her new summer job.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Call It What It Is

I don’t wish to jinx it by saying anything, but the weather has been nice overall. There have been many cool winds.

There have been some hot days.  I think we had the most heat in May.  That is when I was sick and miserable anyway.

The July temperatures have exceeded over 80 only twice thus far.  Yesterday it did not get over 71.  That is really awesome.  There were even a few drops of rain throughout the day.

The fire signs have all indicated moderate.  I am so happy to refer to this season as summer and not “fire season”

Monday, July 8, 2019

Dash #2,041: Nicknames

                I ‘m sure that there were several nicknames that had been given to me throughout my life, but as of now I can only think of these five.

          I believe mom had said that she and dad  got the nickname “Smathers” from some sort of horror flick.  There was some tagline about “the eyes of Smathers” and sometimes my instant presence watching them would remind her of the movie (or TV episode or whatever it was) thus the nickname “Smathers

          I wrote this post in reference to another nickname name they had given me  -  Sarah Bernhardt. 

                Grandpa Ralph had given all of his grandchildren nicknames.  Mine was “Blondie” because of my white blonde hair.


          There were a few kids at school who had referred to me as “Water Fountain” because of how I wore my hair.

Jenna's hair doesn't seem to cascade as much as mine evidently did

          Shortly after I was born, one of the neighbors from across the street thought my name was “Carrot” and they will sometimes call me that to tease me.