Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Going . . . Going . . . I Want It Gone!!!!

The week before Easter we had a ferocious wind.  I blame it for my dry throat.  I went from sounding like Barry White to Darth Vader to null.  On Tuesday I sounded and felt like I had swallowed razor blades.

Jenna went to school on Monday but stayed home the rest of the week.  She is normally quite a horrible patient.  But she actually stayed in bed for two days – except when she was throwing up – which I never shared.  Grateful for that.  On the other hand I have a cough that Jenna doesn’t.

So we sprawled in bed all day Tuesday.  I took her to the doctor on Wednesday – though driving with her when she is ill seems to make it even worse as she gets car sick on top of whatever else she had.  She threw up just before the bus parked at the final destination.

A throat culture was given – just to rule out strep.  The doctor said she had a virus and that we would just have to wait it out.  Oh, joy.  Wish there was a medicine given to prevent strep.

Jenna fell asleep on the bus on the return home.  She slept most of the day.  We both did.
She bounced back after two days – not good enough to go to school, but certainly more energetic than staying in bed.

The doctor’s office contacted me on Friday to say that Jenna had strep and they would call in a prescription.  If Jenna had strep, than I probably did also.  I made an appointment for myself to see a doctor.  I chose a time when Roland could take me so that we wouldn’t have to ride the bus again.

So on the Friday before Easter, Jenna and I both started our ten day treatment with antibiotics.  Just what every child would like in his/her Easter basket, right?  Amoxillan, Penicillin, cough drops, etc.  Jenna’s prescription came in liquid form.  I, on the other hand, had cough capsules in addition to the horse pill infection fighter.

When Roland’s family arrived in town, we were still on medication.  They had come for Biff and Jeanie’s wedding. 

It was cold on the temple grounds though it didn’t start out that way.  Roland’s family, used to the Arizona weather, was freezing.  I had extra jackets.  I passed them out to some family members and stood bare armed when I got cold myself.

Bill took lots of pictures.  It was the first wedding photo with family members represented from the boys’ mom’s side of the family and their dad’s side of the family as well as my own.  The first wedding in which all three boys were in attendance.

Gradually all of the family members left except for Biff and Jeanie and Bill.  Bill led the other two around temple square and posed them and took many many pictures.  He led them around for at least two hours.

Twelve of us went to an Italian restraint downtown Salt Lake.  

There was a ceremony the following day – Saturday.  It rained.  It rained and rained and never let up.  I am certain that the rain kept several away.  I think the ceremony would have been better attended in nicer weather.  Still it was nice.  Different.  At least from my point of view.  Just isn’t what I am used to.

In the past, Jenna has always delighted in the role of “flower girl” hoping to throw flower pedals as portrayed in television and movie weddings. It isn’t typical of the “Mormon-theme” however.  But on Saturday she did get to do just that.

Jeanie and her mom bought lavender dresses for her two nieces and Jenna and Ester.  Anna wore blue.  Kayla had asked if we would watch her.  As usual, Jenna took Anna under her wing.  And Jeanie’s mom made her an honorary flower girl.

Rochelle walked beside two-year-old Ester who had absolutely no clue.  When Rochelle pulled out the flowers to toss as she moved, Ester’s first instinct was to pick them up and return them to the basket.

Ten-year-old Jenna walked with four-year-old Anna who was beaming from ear to ear – probably not fully understanding it herself, but having fun with it.  They both did.

Their bishop introduced the ring ceremony and presented ring trivia and customs.  It was interesting. 

There was a luncheon that followed.  Anna danced with Bill when he wasn’t taking pictures. 

The next day I went to Church and attempted to teach two lessons though I really didn’t have much voice.

The first was Relief Society.  I had agreed to step in for Angie as she was not feeling well.  I imagined that she might have been feeling as I had the week before Easter.

Class went really well.  Lots of participation.  I didn’t really feel I had personally taught anything. 

And then I taught the youth class for the last time.  I’ve been called to be the enrichment leader.  I can’t even imagine.

Randy stops by the house once a week – mostly to fill his belly with cereal.  Sometimes he mows the lawn.  Mostly he complains about school and math.  I understand his frustration with math.  I have never learned the language.  

The average person who takes required math course will need to understand and do math terms for just that class.  The average person will never ever need to know that stuff in real life.  The average person will never use any of that again.  So why learn it?  Randy and I both feel that it’s pointless. 

Jenna LOVES math.  I hope that she always loves math.  I don’t mind her learning the math language.  But please, don’t confuse my brain by trying to explain it to me.  You might as well be speaking Japanese or Hungarian from what I’m going to get out of it.

April was an odd month.  Mostly cold.  Colder than November was. 

My throat has stopped hurting.  But I am out of pills.  And I still have my cough.  I want it gone.  And I don’t want the sinus pains to return.  We have to move to a wetter climate with no wind.  That’s my solution.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thank You, Barbara Park, May You Rest in Peace.


In this post I mentioned the ability that Jenna has to create book projects to share about what books she has read.  One of her reports was a letter to the author of Junie B. Jones.  This is a letter which Jenna created for a grade.  We wanted to share it with the author who passed away in November.  We didn't realize that she had passed until we started searching for an address to send the letter to.  This is what Jenna wrote:

Dear Barbara, 

i’m a girl in 4th grade at [Vantana] Elementary in [Tannersville], Utah.  My name is [Jenna].  I absolutely love your books Junie b. Jones.  I’m going to tell you why.

First, Junie is like me: lonely but enthusiastic. 

Secondly, I’ve almost read the entire series of Junie b. Jones just not BOO . . . and I mean it and The Thanksgiving Light. Now I’m reading Cheater Pants

Thirdly, is Junie B from your childhood?

Lastly, Thanks for reading

From Jenna

It does seem a lot sweeter in her own print and mispells and charm.  But you get the jest.

There ARE MANY Perks to Eloping

A few of my posts have included dreams that I’ve had. Each of those posts concludes with how I don’t put much faith in dreams.  But there is one dream that I definitely interpreted to be quite meaningful.  I made a life changing decision as a result.

                  I met Roland for the first time on December 31, 2000.  He asked me out that night.  We would go downtown to celebrate the coming of the New Year.  I missed playing games with my family – a ritual I have enjoyed about New Years.

                  Roland was quite forward.  I had dismissed guys for being too forward – and none had ever been as forward as Roland had.  I didn’t understand why I felt so comfortable around him. By the end of our date we had set up a second. I don’t know if I knew then that we would be seeing the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.

                  So during our second date, I cried and cried – not for Tom Hanks’ character, but because I thought of my dad.  Though he was never stranded on an island with a ball-turned-companion, I just remembered the frustration that dad must have felt in trying to communicate with anybody outside of his hospital bed. 

                  Roland was so gentle with me and seemed to understand.  He passed no judgment.  I was grateful for that. 

                  That night I had a dream that it was summer and my mom was trying to get all my sibs together for a family portrait.  In the dream Roland and I had been dating for six months.  He had not yet proposed, but I knew that he would be proposing.  I was wondering how to ask mom to allow Roland and the boys to be in our family picture, as I knew that we would be together by the end of the year.

                  In real life I shot out of bed.  I had met Roland only two days before.  We had only had our second date – a movie, at that. Why would I be dreaming that we would become an item?  I didn’t even know him!  I was less than thrilled about having this dream. 

                  The next day I went to work but returned home in less than four hours as I really didn’t feel well.  I told my brother that I’d be going back to bed and under any circumstances I was NOT to be disturbed.  But less than an hour later he knocked at my door to tell me that Roland was waiting for me.
                  For reals?  Or was I having another odd dream?  Roland was there to propose!  We had met just three days ago and he wanted to marry me!  Get real!  So of course my first thought was: “No, no, no, no, no . . . .”           actually the reaction was pretty much as it had been when I awoke from the dream.

               Was there a connection?  Had my dream been a personal revelation?  Was this a test?  “No – no – I can’t accept a proposal of marriage.  I don’t even know this guy.  This goes against EVERYTHING I had planned for myself.  I wasn’t even going to date a guy I had known less than a year.  And now I was getting this message to marry this complete stranger?”

                  Of course I prayed about my decision – realizing that just because I accepted his proposal did not mean I couldn’t break it off at some point.  Three days?? That’s outrageous!!

                  Since I was knee high my dad had tried to brainwash me into believing that I wanted to elope when I had the opportunity.  To be honest, I really had no idea what he meant. It wasn’t until I got much older than I realized the elopement thing was not a bad idea.  Only by the time Roland came along, dad was gone and mom didn’t want me to elope.  I think my mom saw Roland as the Big Bad Wolf and was afraid for me.

                  Roland and I had changed our wedding date several times.  As I had mentioned in this post, we had wanted to do the right thing and start our life together with a temple marriage.

                    We had the marriage certificate to present to our bishop for the following week, but he realized that he’d be out of town. And I was tired of it.  Tired of changing the date.  Tired of trying to appease everyone.  In fact, I had said to mom and brother, Corey, “why don’t you arrange a date that fits into both of your schedules and get back to us; You two make the arrangements and tell us when to show up.”
                   After several tears and a talk with mom, I went into the bishop and asked if he could marry us that night or the next. Our civil marriage took place September 9, 2001. Everybody (including the groom) who came to the wedding received an eight hour notice or less.  So it wasn’t an elopement exactly, but it wasn’t planned in the way that you would think a wedding should be.

                  On September 11, terrorists attacked our nation.  If Roland and I hadn’t already been married, I would have had him drive me to Vegas upon my return home from work.  For I fully believed that the world had come to an end.  I suppose in many aspects it symbolically did.

                A month later we did an open house – mostly for the benefit of those who attended mom’s ward and made desires known that they wished I would have had a reception or something.  I purchased balloons, baskets and teddy bears for the decor and we’d gone to Sam’s Club for the hors-d'œuvre.  I think we spent 100 bucks tops.

So it wasn’t elaborate.  It worked.  I don’t ever look back on that day and say, “Oh, I wish I would have spent more money on more frivolous things.”
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about weddings.  If I have to be involved in a wedding, I have always enjoyed the simpler ones so much better than all that elaborate hoopla.  When I finally understood my dad’s wisdom, I had hoped that each of my boys would find girls who would want to elope. 

Actually, my first daughter-in-law and I have much in common as far as hoopla goes.  Her attitude pretty much matched my own.  Her family made the arrangements and she and Tony showed up.  Well, not entirely.  But I am under the impression that is how she felt.  It was important to her mom, and that is why she allowed it.  Rochelle’s mom passed away only two months after she and Tony were married.

I don’t know how much Carrie and I have in common.  She likes to visit, but Randy somehow always manages to steal her thunder.  His behavior resembles that of Captain Kirk or William Shatner where “I am important and therefore all attention should be on me”   

It was actually that behavior that Carrie found to be a turn off.  She could see right away that Randy is full of himself (which really most people don’t get because they are always awed by his charisma) I don’t recall why she agreed to go out with him, or why she allowed a second date (her description of their first date is less than flattering) but evidently had enough premonition to make a life with him.

Their wedding was expensive.  We did not contribute financially as we were on welfare when  both Randy and Tony were married to their wives. Perhaps that is part of why I have such a hang-up with the tremendous amount of money spent on weddings.  I have enough trouble  just staying afloat or trying to put food on the table.  Spending two paychecks for one-day event is OUTRAGEOUS.

Jeanie seemed all in favor of elopement initially.  But I think Biff wanted the hoopla – and what they had in mind initially seemed tasteful.  They would get married in the temple and have a luncheon with the family.  They wouldn’t send out announcements to friends until several weeks later to invite them to some kind of reception to pay a congratulations to the couple. At least that was my understanding.

But then it changed.  And changed again.  They couldn’t marry in the temple as they had planned and so they decided just to marry civilly.  They would include family members and have a luncheon afterward.  Later when they were granted temple marriage, they would have a reception to include all family and friends.

We received the announcement of their civil marriage and have been planning for that for over a month.  Two weeks ago Roland received a text from Biff to please escort him in the temple.  They are having their temple marriage on Friday and have changed their civil marriage to something else to accommodate those that are coming on Saturday. 

Two weeks is quite a healthy notice.  It’s not like Biff rushed into a proposal only three days after having met Jeanie.  And they have given us a lot more than just eight hours notice.  I can’t help but wonder what kind of example we set for them though. 

Still no scheduled reception – at least   that I know of.  I wonder if they are still planning on having more.  I think elopement would have been so much easier.  Definitely less expensive.  I can still plant the seeds for Jenna.  Let her know the pros and the cons.  I mean, it would be nice if we could afford something elaborate for her.  But gads, all that money for just one day?  Why not put the money towards a house or tuition or something that you will have with you with more than just a memory?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Horses, Elephants, Fairytales

Michael Morpurgo wasn’t born until some time after World War II had ended, and yet he was affected by the war as bombed ruins became his play ground.  It wasn’t until much later that he learned that the war had not only destroyed buildings – it had destroyed lives as well – including that of his own family.

        The books he writes tell of the history but also give hope to the reader.  I have not yet read “War Horse” but it is on my books-to-read list.  The first book that I’ve read by this author is “An Elephant in the Garden

Before the bombs had dropped on Berlin, the keeper of the Berlin Zoo had mentioned when the destruction came, all of the big animals at the zoo would have to be killed.  A woman who worked at the zoo asked if she could take a baby elephant she was attached to.  Every night when the zoo closed, she would take the elephant home and every morning she would bring it back – until the bombs came.  And then there was no point.

Morpurgo took this true account and another of a woman whose husband had joined the team of those who had tried to assassinate Hitler.  After he was executed, she took refugees into her home. 

From my understanding “War Horse” takes place in England whereas “An Elephant in the Garden” takes place in Germany.  Instead of Berlin, Morpurgo starts the story out in Dresden.  He gives the account of three family members who flee from one horrific scene to another while traveling with an elephant.

I like his style. There are so many truths about how it was for far too many.  Families torn apart before the war because of political disagreement, abandoning their houses whether willingly or not, fear of the unknown. “An Elephant in the Garden” is written in first person.  I’m hoping his other work is as well.  

I have a second book on reserve at the library.  I will have to go and pick it up within the next three days.  Looking forward to reading more.  Not just the historical fiction that he’s written, but some of his other work – like rewritten fairytales.  I LOVE fairytales with a new perspective.  My favorite thus far is called “Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter” by Diane Stanley.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rambling Thoughts

            Last week I purchased bus passes for Jenna and me as Minerva (our neighbor who has been taking Jenna to school) said that her son wanted to start riding the bus again.  I am okay either way.  Morning commute’s not so bad – at least going to school.  Road painting caused delays on the return.

            I was returning from the library the other day when a man at the bus stop insisted on talking to me.  I was far more interested in the book I was holding than in anything that he was saying and actually annoyed with his ignorance that I was trying to read.  He said he was looking for a job. Taking baths in the Jordan Canal is getting too cold.  He used to live in those apartments over there.  He still knows people. 

            He hadn’t shaved because he doesn’t have a razor.  He didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t seem dressed for hire. .I don’t know what kind of work he was looking for.  He was wearing camouflage coveralls.  They looked as if though they had been recently removed from a sales rack. 

            He soon tired of waiting for the bus, just as I tired of what I thought might be endless talk on his part.  Another guy got off the train and asked how soon the bus would come.  I told him that it shouldn’t be long any how UTA had just changed most all of the buss schedules (I mean, after all,  it has been a grand total of four months since the last change) to accommodate for meeting TRAX on schedule – yeah, like that’s really going to happen.  Perhaps if they schedule buses to run every ten minutes they will have a fighting chance.  But some of the routes are schedule to run only every thirty.  The train can always run on time, but I don’t think UTA has taken in consideration of UDOT traffic on the road. 

            When I mentioned the construction, the guy gets a less-than-thrilled look on his face and says, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.”

            How could you forget?  The orange barrels and polycones are a sign that spring has officially started – though there is usually 3-7 days of cold wet weather which takes place right after the cones are in place.

            The other night the wind was blowing hard.  I usually don’t hear it from my bedroom – but it was loud enough outside my bedroom door that I wondered what it was. 

After I got up, I could hear the wind blowing outside.  I saw flashes of lightening – what I thought was lightening anyway.  Turns out that it was really sparks from the power lines.  Our backyard neighbor mentioned it in Church.  He said the wind was blowing so hard that our tree was knocking into the power lines.  Fortunately it did not knock them down.  Today I called Rocky Mountain Power to make them aware. And hopefully they will be able to cut it down to where it’s either tamed or null (though I think I’d actually prefer the latter)

            Since we have moved to West Valley, I can only remember the power going out just once – well, just one time in our neighborhood.  I’ve been affected by West Valley Power outages when I was driving.  I’m evidently on a different transformer than the surrounding areas which have been affected.

When we lived in Kearns, it seemed we were without power almost as often as we had power – slight exaggeration perhaps.  But I remember not having power many a time.  I remember meeting in the cultural hall of the church because somebody thought it would let in the strongest amount of light.  Only one meeting was held.

            I have many thoughts in my head that remain unsorted.  Posts won’t write themselves and often I am too lazy to do it.  Or my thoughts just don’t seem to flow together and flow smoothly.  Take this post for instance.  Not flowing.  Jumbled.  Boring.  You don’t have to read it.  So why are you?

            After I walked Jenna to school I went to a few stores in search of Vick’s VapoSyrup because my throat has been dry the last couple of days, and VapSsyrup works.  I don’t recall where I even got it last time.  Three stores and none of them had even an empty space for it.  I need something that will work for me.  I need to feel better and stop being tired and get back on track.

Friday, April 11, 2014

100 Things I'm Grateful for

 I started this list several months ago.  I had 89 things at the time.  They are now in alphabetical order so I could type without repeating myself.

1.       aides (such as glasses, hearing)
2.       air conditioner
3.       angels
4.       art
5.       assistance
6.       autumn
7.       baby wipes
8.       balance
9.       binders
10.     blankets
11.     boxes
12.     bus drivers
13.     calendars
14.     camera
15.     choices

16.     clocks
17.     clothes lines

18.     coats
19.     communication
20.     companionship of the Holy Ghost
21.     copy machines
22.     crossing guards
23.     diversity
24.     doctors
25.     doors
26.     education
27.     educators
28.     enthusiasm
29.     family
30.     fans (the air circulating kind)

31.     farmers
32.     firefighters
33.     foot wear
34.     forefathers
35.     freedom
36.     freezer
37.     furniture
38.     growth
39.     hair dressers
40.     hair bush
41.     health care      
42.     hearing
43.     historians
44.     hope
45.     hospitals

46.     humidifiers
47.     humor
48.     imagination
49.     improvement
50.     individualism
51.     inventors
52.     journals
53.     learning
54.     libraries
55.     light bulb
56.     medicine
57.     memories
58.     microwave oven
59.     minds
60.     music

61.     nature
62.     options
63.     order
64.     paint
65.     paper
66.     paper cutter
67.     pen
68.     photo shop
69.     photos
70.     pioneers
71.     printers
72.     promptings of the Spirit
73.     prophets
74.     recognition of blessings
75.     recorders

76.     rest
77.     retirement homes and staff
78.     sanitation workers
79.     scanners
80.     scissors
81.     scrapbooking 
82.     scriptures
83.     service
84.     shelves
85.     sight

86.     sleep
87.     spell check
88.     storage space
89.     sores
90.     talents
91.     tissues
92.     transportation
93.     truck divers
94.     usbs
95.     variety
96.     voices
97.     washing machines
98.     water
99.     wikepedia
100.   windows