Friday, June 28, 2013

Unbearable Heat

On Monday I created this post.
On Tuesday it was windy.       Not just a cool breeze.  Powerful winds – almost like before a storm. The skies were grey but appeared almost cloudless and yet I could not get this song out of my head

Since then the temperatures have been in the three digits.  It’s not supposed to go down until Wednesday.  And then it’s still supposed to be 97

Biff said he is unable to sleep because it’s so freakin hot and we have taken out the air conditioner that was in his room and put it in the main room.  Roland says he can’t give it back until Biff’s room is clean.  And if it’s not clean, we will be moving him into Jenna’s room and Jenna can have Biff’s room. 

We did set up a small inflatable pool.  It has been somewhat helpful.  But theoretically we’re not supposed to be using so much water.  There is a drought. Grass is dry and we’re not supposed to water.  Go figure.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

recording voices


I recently  took out my pocket tape player in order to listen to a talk I had recorded.  Apparently I never put it away as Jenna discovered it this morning.  I gave her a tape that could be used for a blank and she has been singing and playing and laughing.  Not expensive entertainment.  It’s fun listening to her enjoy herself. 

 Reminds me of when Corey used to do it.  He could keep himself occupied for hours.  I suppose I enjoyed it too.  But the reel-to-reel was not something I could just pull off the shelf and take control.  That was a heavy beast – and we didn’t have blank reels at hand like we had with cassette players.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

I want the cool winds

Green grass in gently summer wind Stock Photo - 3365294

Yesterday as I
drove to the assisted living
I noticed the skies getting darker. 
After we arrived
in the parking lot,
I took my sunglasses off. 
The skies didn’t appear
to be overcast,
and yet the atmosphere
was present.  
By the time I returned home,
the sky looked more overcast –
like it does before it rains. 
But the air itself said:
it was ugly and hot –
not at all inviting. 
I loved the cool breeze
of the last two days before. 
I’d love for the breeze to return
and dwell for the duration.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Visits

         Roland had sent me this thought that brought humor to my mind when I first read it: 

Mildred calls her neighbor and says, “Please come over here and help me.  I have a killer jigsaw puzzle and I can’t figure out how to get it started.

Her neighbor asks, “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished? “
Mildred says, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a rooster.”

Her neighbor decides to go over and help with the puzzle. 
Mildred lets him in and shows him to the table. 
He studies the pieces for a moment than looks at the box than turns to her and says,
“First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster.” 
He takes her hand and says, “Secondly, I want you to relax.  Let’s have a nice cup of coco”
The he says with a deep sigh, “Let’s put all the corn flakes back in the box”


Now I think of Mildred as one who is going through her first stages of Dementia. Lucky neighbor.

My parking job was not the greatest, and so I pulled forward and backed in again.  I didn’t notice the other car that had pulled into the parking lot was Uncle Ross and Aunt Fern until they got out of their car.

         Mom was on the phone talking to Corey and smiled as we all waved for her.  Ross and Fern were hesitant about opening the second door as Myrna was standing there – afraid that she might escape.  I didn’t figure it out until just before we went through that Myrna was actually trying to open the door for us to pass through.  She knows the code.  Myrna’s sharp.  What in the world is she doing in that particular assisted living?

         Mom evidently told Corey that we were there – or that somebody was (I don’t know if she gave him the correct names) and Corey said that he would call back.

         Meanwhile Harold had been waiting in her room – aware that June was on the phone with Corey – he even told me who she was talking to.  And I told him that my mom had other visitors and had invited him to join us.  But he remained in the room I guess.  He didn’t join us.

         It was so good to visit with Ross and Fern as I have not seen them in a while.  Mom enjoyed the visit also.  But I remember the details. 

         Ross said that he enjoyed seeing the pictures that Corey has posted on facebook.  I think Ross is only one year older than my mom, but his face appears to be at least ten years older.  But then mom always has looked younger than she is.  And I inherited that gene as I don’t look as old as I am. 

         We talked about the house in Magna and the dinner photo I sent but still don’t know the names of the three I had inquired about.   But then neither one of them are avid facebook users and don’t even pay attention to who’s wall they are looking at.

         I told Ross about an interview that Corey had done with Grandma Helen and revealed things that Ross hadn’t even known about his own mother.

         We visited about an hour and Uncle Ross and Aunt Fern excused themselves and mom and Jenna and I made our way back to her room.  Harold meanwhile had come by just as Jenna and I were getting ready to leave.  He asked if we were all there still.  I said that two had left and the remaining two of us were leaving and he was welcome to visit.

         It is nice (and almost funny) to see (and hear about) mom being so content with staying where she lives.  She no longer tries to escape.  She doesn’t even wish to leave when we offer to take her.  Okay.  We’ve made progress with her.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Friend for Jenna

It’s been almost a year since we were first introduced to Payton.  Frank and Marie had invited us to the annual Independence Day BBQ at the park hosted by Miguel, Cheryl and Sylvia who live just across the way.  Payton will visit on occasion, and she and Jenna hit it off right away.  And so often when Payton is visiting Cheryl, we will set up play dates for her and Jenna.

I can’t believe how well they play together.  They can actually spend several hours without feuds or hurt feelings.  I wish Payton and Jenna could play together every day.

Trume’s grandparents sent him to day camp – I’m guessing for the entire summer.  They have two incomes.  Apparently they can afford it.  Besides I think if Grandpa had to spend the entire day with Trume, he would end up killing him (or himself)

It’s been equally nice for us not to have him knock on the door first thing in the morning or having daily confrontations between him and Jenna. 

Besides Trume there is Wesley (from this post).  I have agreed to watch him during the summer as dad has classes and mom now works full time – downtown no less.  It gives Jenna the opportunity to play with someone other than Trume.

So far there have not been the daily disputes that Trume and Jenna always encounter.  Wesley and Jenna have been civil towards one another.  He will come over to play on the days that I’m not watching him.  They’ve had fun. Thus far they’ve been spending the entire day together (even after dad has returned home – even mom) and that’s been really nice for me.

On Saturdays she explores the area surrounding the community garden.  She plays with Parker, Hunter and Skyler.  She says she is tired of boys.  There are two girls from primary that she has spent time with.  Both have working moms and are not available to play other than the weekends.  But she has been able to spend a few weekends playing with Payton.

We had tried the Friday thing with Amber who Jenna had met in pre-school – but that resulted in only two play dates.  I think Jenna mishandled their time together.  But now that school’s out activity remains in West Valley and not the surrounding cities. And so Jenna lives for weekends.
            Over Memorial Day weekend Roland asked Bill if he and Kayla would like to double date with us to see the new Star Trek movie.  Bill is an avid fan of Star Trek and is one who would dress up and go to conventions whereas Roland likes Star Trek and is quite knowledgeable about Star Trek trivia – dressing up for a convention would be pushing the boundaries just a little too far.

            But what about the kids?  Surely Bill wasn’t going to bring Anna and Garrett and I didn’t believe that Jenna would want to spend more than ten minutes watching Star Trek – let alone two hours.  And so I had to find someone who’d be willing to take her for at least four hours.  I figured if Payton would be visiting, that would serve well for all of us.

            We saw Miguel setting up for a yard sale and Jenna happily announced that she had seen Payton.  So not only was Jenna ecstatic to see her friend, but Payton was equally as excited especially when I offered to take both girls back to our house for a few hours to jump on the trampoline.

            After a few hours I returned them both to Sylvia’s house and they watched the movie “Brave” outside along with the yard sale. Tony and Rochelle had given the DVD to Jenna for her birthday. Neither Sylvia nor Payton had ever seen before. 

            The Star Trek movie was good – especially for Bill who had been overly enthusiastic the entire time and shot pictures out in the lobby with sign and display and passed his camera off to others so as to get all four of us.

            After we parted company, Roland drove straight to Sylvia’s where we picked up both Payton and Jenna to give them a few more hours.  Their playdate lasted almost three times as long as the one that Roland and I had with Bill and Kayla.  They said they would like to spend every Friday together.  Cheryl informs me that Payton is also tired of playing with just boys.

            Cheryl dropped Payton off on Friday and Jenna invited Payton to the stake breakfast this morning.  I had to admire both girls when they pitched in to help stir pancake batter and eggs. 

            After we returned home the girls played games while Roland and I worked in the yard. 
            A neighbor who is moving brought us his swimming pool and Payton and Jenna spent about three hours in the pool and jumping on the trampoline.  I fed them before Cheryl came by to pick up Payton who was still wearing Jenna’s swimsuit.  And so that bought the girls another three hours. 

            I am so glad they have each other.  It has been a good thing for all of us.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Changes

         My son Biff purchased a plane ticket and Roland drove him to the airport the other day.  His car sits in front of our house targeted by birds, unregistered, unpaid for.  He’s now in Texas – three hours from where Tony lives.

         Meanwhile we’ve taken the A/C out of his room and put it in the front room.  We’ve rearranged the furniture a little bit and had to move the dog.  So Highness is temporarily parked at the end of the hall right in front of Biff’s bedroom door – which by the way is open.  And it smells bad in there.  Reeks.  I can smell it – and I have basically lost my sense of smell.  So it must be horrid.

         Roland has Biff married off now – to a girl we don’t even know.  And Roland seems okay with it.  Randy (my youngest son) is beside himself.  What was Biff thinking to take off like that?  And not tell anybody?  Well, he obviously made arrangements through work to get the time off.  I wonder. 

         I don’t have him married off.  It would be nice if he does call to say, “Oh, by the way, Hailey and I are married now.”  But I honestly don’t believe it would be a wise decision to just jump into it.  But then again, Roland proposed after only three days.  The decision and prayer and revelation were mine alone.  It wasn’t for my family to decide.  It wasn’t for my friends to shake me up and ask, “What are you thinking?”  It wasn’t for the bishop to say, “You’re wrong” nor is it up to me to question what inspirations Biff may have received.

         It would be nice to buy some new furniture for Jenna – new to her anyway.  Turn Biff’s room into Jenna’s.  Turn her room into a computer room.  I think we ought to trade their rooms around right now – while he’s gone.  Give him more incentive to want to leave the nest.  Though it should be on his terms.  I don’t want him to feel pushed.  On the other hand I don’t want to have a freeloader who doesn’t seem concerned about not taking care of his room or pitching in with other house hold chores.

         I can only pray that things will work out for him and all of us really.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Magpies and Mosquitoes

           I remember seeing Magpies when I was younger.  Occasionally I would notice one or two – never an entire flock!  I thought they were a very interesting and beautiful bird.  I didn’t know that magpies are dirty birds with thieving habits.  I still don’t know much about them. 

           They must have flown here from Colorado as I have seen more magpies this year than in the first fifty combined. I now feel the same annoyance toward them that I feel toward mosquitoes. If the Magpies would just leave our gardens alone and go after the mosquitoes, Jenna and I would be willing to call the Magpies our friends.

            Poor Jenna.  She’s received four to six times as many bug bites as I have.  Her blood must be succulent like Patrick’s.  No matter how many precautions we take, the mosquitoes have ignored and attack anyway.  One might think we have been camping in the wilderness and not receive them in our house in the city.   I never put a sign in my yard that said: “All Magpies and Mosquitoes welcome!  Please!  Come help yourself to whatever!” Those varmints are NOT WELCOME.!  Let’s get rid of them ALL.!

Comparing Roland to Uncle Lynn

             My aunt Alice was 32 when she announced her engagement to Lynn Brown. Grandma Helen had a problem with it – I think her suspicions must have spread. He was okay.  I tried not to pass judgment on him.  He was an odd fellow.  But in time I could understand.

            Of course Corey had his own reasons for not wanting to like him.  I don’t recall how old he was. Nine, I think.  He was already suspicious of any man who wore sunglasses or a beard or who had a bald head.  Uncle Lynn happened to have all three. 

            His mom gave birth to four boys before him.  I don’t recall how many years are between Lynn and the others – but it seems like it was six or more.  His mom had wanted a girl. She had planned for a girl.  She had picked out the name Lynnette Darcy Brown – and that is what it says on his birth certificate.  

            Lynn’s mom is ODD.  I don’t know that she always had been – but something happened .  I don’t know how old Lynn was when he went into foster care or why or for how long.  I don’t know how often he saw his mom – if they lived in different states or what.  I’m not certain why I know what little information I do have.  But I know he was living with another family when he graduated from high school.  Lynn’s mother actually reminded me of the mother that had abused her daughter Sybil not that I suspected her of having abused – perhaps it was the actress who had portrayed Sybil’s mother   

              Aunt Alice passed away.  She and Lynn had four boys together.  The eldest was a senior in high school when Aunt Alice passed.  The family seemed to distrust Uncle Lynn even more as he had cheated us out of an inheritance and seems to continue to swindle and bribe.  But I don’t know the full details.  It could have just been bad investment on his part.  
            I think my sibs may think of Roland the same way as they do my Uncle – or at least my brothers anyway.  Kayla and I are in the same financial boat married to husbands who like to spend – though it is usually for the benefit of others.  Kayla has NEVER been a materialistic – not that my brothers are – but they do have more insight to finances and expenses than do either Kayla or I.

           Roland doesn’t swindle and cheat intentionally.  Sometimes his investments are not as great as he had hoped for.  Not his fault that the economy went caput.  I do think he handled his divorce poorly however – and the courts in Utah have been totally unfair.  Therefore we have struggled.  He doesn’t have the best track record for finances.  I don’t suppose either one of us do.  But I don’t believe he’s anything like Uncle Lynn.  But I know my brothers don’t trust either one with money.  And I do understand.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I find it somewhat ironic

           I believe that Corey was still in high school when he was asked to participate in a program that was being presented to the stake Relief Society.  As I recall he was playing a reporter and had to interview many different women who played an important part in Church history.

            He’d been invited to stay for the luncheon, which would follow the program.  I don’t think he had ever been to an RS luncheon before.  The portions were smaller than usual – the luncheon committee hadn’t planned on quite so many people.

            Corey downed his food in nothing flat – believing that it was just an appetizer and wondered when the main course would be served.  Corey was highly disappointed when we told him that was it.  No seconds. No leftovers.  We went out to lunch after we left the Church.

            I don’t know who’s idea it has been that RS sisters are all petite and that we’d never gorge and that we can make a feast out of what many wouldn’t even consider enough food to be a snack. Oh, yes, I know when the RS first started and when the pioneers were crossing the plains and when early settlers were growing their own crops and they didn’t have access to Twinkies or candy bars, they were thinner and more petite.  But I’ve got news to share with committees of the present.  A half gallon of ice cream was not designed to feed 12-18 sisters while it would only serve 2-4 elders.  Hey, some of the sisters have appetites, too.  Some of us could put some elders to shame with our appetites – okay maybe not elders – but high priests. 

            So last night there was an enrichment (a monthly Relief Society gathering) to sample and submit recipes for a ward cook book.  I brought Calico beans.  There were a few other entre items and rolls.  But mostly there were desserts. 

            That’s all that I took were samples.  I did not do any major pigging out until after I knew every sister had eaten.  Attendance was great.  How could there have possibly been so much leftover food?   I was full.  Beyond full.  I had to try everything.  I found it ironic that I walked away from a “sampling” with a full stomach than I have from any RS lunch or dinner.  Though I do recall having the opportunity for seconds in this ward.  One of the greatest things about my short lived calling to be on the activities committee was taking home leftovers.  Our RS president at the time was  (and still is) a great cook.  And she loved doing it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Biff does not have common sense about money management – but than it’s not as if he’s had fine examples to follow.  Roland and I have borrowed money from all four of our children.  We’ve also paid back with interest.  Except for Randy – who will constantly remind us whether we actually made a deal with him or not.

Randy is a go getter.  He found someone to buy the reject truck that nobody else in the family wanted – leaving Biff carless once again.  Biff had enough money to for a down payment on another car and to build his credit back up again – only when the time came to purchase, he had considerably less money.  Randy was ticked.  Where did it go?  How do you spend that much money?

I don’t know what Randy was thinking to co-sign for Biff.  Nor do I understand what Biff was thinking to let him.  But the car remains parked in front of our house – unregistered.  Biff still is not managing wisely.  I don’t know how to help him understand.

Then yesterday Roland came to me and said that Biff had purchased an airline ticket so that he could go visit “his girlfriend” Hailey.  Who the heck is Hailey?
Now I have learned just because Roland uses the word “girlfriend” does not make it so.  Roland doesn’t believe in platonic relationships.  That’s crazy.  It’s also crazy to go to another state on a gamble.  But Roland doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.  He said he would be willing to travel the distance for me.  Biff probably knows more about Hailey than Roland knew about me when he proposed.

I had heard Biff refer to Hailey once before.  Only once though.  And it was a different Hailey from the 10-20 that are facebook friends with Randy.  But still . . .

Biff also plans on visiting his brother, Tony.  I’m betting that Tony and Hailey live in two different parts of the state.  And Roland is betting that Biff will be calling us when he runs out of money.  I wonder if Biff will actually look for work while he’s down there.  I wonder how long his car will sit in front of the house before it is towed away.

It’s a nice car, actually.  I wouldn’t mind trading the car I drive for it – the car that’s got a dent on the side and faulty electronics.  I feel quite blessed to have it though.  I may have mentioned on two different posts actually.  Aside from its faults, my car can still get me from here to there – and even farther (as Biff has proved)

He’s going to Texas.  I wonder what arrangements he has made to get himself to the airport.

Monday, June 17, 2013

If These Little Vampires Carry Disease . . . We Are in Big Trouble

I rarely ever have the covers on when I’m asleep – regardless of the season.  Roland is the opposite.  He is usually all bundled up.  When I see him without blankets, I know it is hot.

The weather on Friday was so awesome!  It looked like summer outside, but it felt like fall. 

            The grass is dry.  Our grass is always dry.  I worry about it each year there have been fires, and spend more time trying to douse our lawn with moisture.

            I recall going camping when I was younger.  The weather in the mountains is a lot cooler than the city. I remember one year when we went with the neighbors across the street.  Their youngest boy was less than a year.  The mosquitoes would attack him along with my brother Patrick, has always had delicious blood.  The center contacts him every other month to come donate.  He can donate to babies.  That kind of blood is rare.

          Off used to have a commercial in which ordinary people would put their hands in a mosquito filled container to retrieve money – and if the subject was bit he or she would supposedly get to keep the money.  I always felt like Patrick should be a contestant and rake in a fortune – but than he’d probably just end up spending on medical bills to get rid of the damage the mosquitoes left him with.

            Mosquitoes used to come from miles around to feast on Patrick’s blood.  He could use and entire can of repellant and I could stand next to him without protection and the mosquitoes would always go after him.  Mosquitoes were willing to sacrifice the horrid taste and damage of the repellant just to get to Patrick’s blood.  

            One year we went on a family outing, and though the showers were not incredibly far from the cabin, Patrick would be covered with mosquitos when he returned.  It almost looked like moving hair.  His comment was, “Oh, just what I want to do – shower off with water and then bathe in repellant before I return.”

            Lately the animals have been feasting on my left arm, hand and fingers – as if it has been the only part of me that they’ve had access to.  Though my bites are minimal compared to Jenna.  I don’t remember having all these mosquitoes flying in and attacking us last year.  And why aren’t they going after Roland?  His blood is the kind that can be donated to babies, too.

I might get a phone call once or twice a year asking me to donate.  I know that they are desperate when I get called. My blood is put on the shelf with a note: use only when there is no other alternative.  I always believed that if mosquitoes went after my blood, that they would die.  I hope they all do.  I am so tired of the itch that makes me feel like I slept with fiberglass.  Get rid of these pesky mosquitos.  I bet that’s how plants feel about weeds and birds.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Book Review: Charlotte’s Rose

“Charlotte’s Rose” is written by A.E. Cannon – who’s evidently written a few children’s books. Charlotte’s Rose is a historical fiction and can be found in the juvenile fiction.

It is told in first person through the eyes of a girl named Charlotte Edwards who has left Wales to travel across the plains of the US territory with her father in order to end up in Ogden, Utah.  They take a boat from Europe to Boston and a train from Boston to Iowa city where they are given handcarts and a weight limit on all possessions.

Charlotte goes from being a girl to becoming a woman – not necessarily just physical change but in Spiritual and emotional growth as she travels across the plains with a newborn she didn’t realize would be so much work.  She learns about compassion, community and sacrifice. 

At the end of the book there is the author’s note and references. What impressed me the most is that so many of the facts are true. 

I also like the 15 questions that follow the author’s note.  They are pitched to the reader and remind me quite a bit of the questions that Jenna and I ask one another as we pull out questions from the Ungame or journal jars which I mention here and here.

I wish Jenna had been more interested in this book – and one day she will. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

You’ve got to be kidding me

I had once heard a commentary that if you kill a spider, at least three more will show up for its funeral.  My husband said that isn’t true.  But it sounds accurate to me.

I went out to the garden on Tuesday.  I weeded so much of it.  I can actually tell the grass blades from the onions now.  But it’s not the naughty grass blades or even the net from this post that now give me trouble.  It’s the blasted pigweed that I wrote about in this post over a year ago.  


It’s back – right after I got rid of it – I couldn’t believe the growth that had taken place overnight.  I kid you not.  It had completely grown back (and then some) overnight and I have come up with even more uncouth descriptions of the pigweed that seems to live up to my first paragraph – only a pigweed instead of a spider with over 500 funeral attenders.  Give me a break. 

At first I did not realize that it was pig weed as I have never seen it quite that small before.  It’s easy to pull – but still.  Is that really how I want to spend my summer?  Pulling roots every single day?  The answer is NO – as previously mentioned, I don’t even want to be outside if it’s over 72 degrees out.

The first pigweed came up in the row of beets.  Excitedly I wondered if it was a beet and had gone to the computer in search of images that might show leaves of newly sprouted beets or pigweed.  Turned out to be the latter.  I found this picture among my search.

Perhaps I should it as it can be grown without my even trying.  For step by step instructions at click here.

Oh, how I wish our produce would grow like pigweed!  How amazing that would be to pull one tomato from the vine only to have ten more hanging there the following day, and then 80 and 400.  We’d only have to plant one of each plant and still have plenty because it would be growing rapidly as pigweed and we actually might not be able to keep up with it.  But there would be plenty to share with the neighbors who are in condos and do not have land for their own gardens.