Friday, May 30, 2014

That Tooth Fairy Better Darn Well Leave a Huge Amount of Riches Tonight.

As I have mentioned in this post  Jenna LOVES to go to the dentist.  Seriously.  Often times when she says she really has to go to the dentist, I treat it much like “the Little Boy who Cried Wolf” I never really know whether she needs to go.  Usually I dismiss that she does not.

When the dentist office called me, I made an appointment for the semi-annual cleaning.  Her dentist had told me that she had perfect teeth and that there were still nine baby teeth.  Really?  I was certain that she had already lost them all.  Guess not.

The cleaning that she had in November – or was it December? – revealed a small cavity.  In April the office called again so that they could fill the cavity.  But apparently it was NOT a permanent tooth and so the dentist didn’t want to fill it.

She had lost three teeth from when we were told there were nine.  But her dentist said he would need to pull the remaining six. They could have done it after the cleaning, but she was going to be in a program.  She didn’t want to miss school – which is advisable when getting teeth pulled.  I set something up for the afternoon for the following week.  

   Jenna was late getting her act together that particular day as I mentioned in this post and we missed our bus.  The school called and I ended up changing her appointment to today.

Jenna lost a tooth at school sometime after the program.  The next day she lost two more.  So by the time I got her to her appointment today, there were only three teeth left to be pulled.

Both the dentist and his assistant had come into the lobby to inform me how impressed they were that she was being so brave.  The dentist had pulled out two teeth.  She hadn’t flinched.  But oh-oh.  That third one was a doozy.  And it hurt and she cried.  And the dentist said that he had wanted to cry with her.

I had asked her three times if she had wanted to go out to see her cousin, Anna.  She said she did.  She also said she was hungry, but I knew she couldn’t chew.

I bought her a milk shake at the drive at the corner.  She was told not to use a straw but it was too painful for her to eat it.  I wrapped up the shake and surrounded it with items in my backpack and we stood outside to catch the bus. 

I had her change shoes with me as both of our feet hurt and I thought switching shoes might be helpful.  It was.  I wouldn’t be able to wear her shoes for very long.  She hasn’t even had them for two months now and they look quite worn out.  She’ll be wearing my shoes on Saturday when she runs the 5K

I asked her again if she wanted to go out and see Anna or if she wanted to go home and lay down.  It was getting late and I knew we wouldn’t be to my sister’s house until well after 5:00.  The pain kicked in enough that Jenna wanted to go home.  And so we crossed the street to catch a bus going the other direction.

She has a plastic case that contains her three pulled teeth.  I couldn’t believe the size of them.  

She also had a glittery case shaped like a tooth and asked if the tooth fairy might take it also.  I suggested that if she left it on her dresser the tooth fairy would fill it up with whatever amount she’d be leaving.  

Actually, it’s already taken care of.  I can’t seem to sneak into her room or else I forget to try.  I think Jenna might be too old for the tooth fairy.  But I think she deserves some kind of reward for the pain that

Whose brilliant idea was it to create the tooth fairy anyway?  Sid Hoffman wrote a tooth fairy book that is evidently out of print.  I wanted to buy it for Jenna when she was younger, but I couldn't find it.  It is a cute book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Looking for Answers in the Skies

     Randy helped Roland put the A/Cs up on Memorial Day.  Roland had wanted to do central air, but the cost would have been more than remolding the bathroom (and getting a new tub – which is I wanted – but not the entire expense all at once) Three fires and still just barely getting by on Roland’s check.  

     Ten more days and Pamprin will be eighteen.  No more child support – well except what the stupid state is suspending from his paycheck on the two years that Roland was UNEMPLOYED – and what’s the point of fighting it when the lawyer may end up sucking more out of us than Maleficent did (still does)  Still we should notice an increase in his paycheck – at least I hope.

     It was 88 degrees in our city yesterday.  Roland had looked it up online.  He said there was a difference of ten degrees from what his family members were experiencing in Tucson.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the climb or drop in temperature was gradual, but it’s not (and hasn’t been) 

     62 degrees.  Bamm now 88.  Bam, oh we’re back to 40.  Gradual would be 62, 62, 63, 65, 64, 66, 67 . . . . I wish the temperature would just stay between 66-72 all year long.  I really don’t like these constant 15-25 degree jumps!

     We had the air on last night.  It often dries me out.  But I can’t stand the heat.  So my choices are to wake up dry (often with a headache) or not even sleep at all due to the heat (which I am actually surprised hasn’t killed me off)

     It’s that time of year when laundry has to be washed more often than once a week – particularly the tops and bras.  I’d just to braless if there wasn’t so much weight in my sagging chest – but they are needed.  I don’t own any air conditioned underwear.  Thermals were invented to keep us warm – where is the underwear that will keep us cool?

     Yesterday was hot!  Deadly hot.  Okay, perhaps calling 88 degrees “deadly” is a slight exaggeration (especially when I have lived through some ugly three digit temperatures) the 20 degree jump just makes it feel deadly.  And now we’re back to an indecisive sky.  Will we have rain? Will I need my sunglasses?  I’m not taking my umbrella.  It will be worth getting wet (should the sky choose to rain)


     Well, those were my thoughts this morning.  I could feel the wind.  I put on long pants, but changed my entire outfit before we left the house.  It hadn’t even been an hour since I dressed when the top of me was soaked!  It was gross. 

     I don’t pick Jenna up today.  On Wednesday s after school, she takes a charter bus to her practice for the 5K that she’ll be running on Saturday.  Today will be her last day before the run.  And she’ll be out of school next week.

     Today is my birthday and she made a power point card which she showed to me this morning.  I’ve always had access to power point but never used it.  My ten year old showed me how.

     I’d like the skies to rain.  It has rained on my birthday before.  I had taken Jenna to the doctor that year.  Tomorrow I will be taking her back to the dentist (initially she was supposed to have six teeth pulled but three came out on their own)


Google wishes me a happy birthday each time I sign in.  Facebook friends and others have sent me wishes – but only Google has said “Happy Birthday, LaTiesha” 

     One of my visiting teachers came and got me and took me out to lunch.  That was a surprise.  She took me to a place that I had never even heard of before.  Good food.  Good company.  It was nice to visit with her.  It makes me feel like I’m not a very good visiting teacher though.  I’ve never done that for any of my sisters.

     The day is not over.  It hasn’t rained.  Perhaps after I put my first load on the line.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Creative Journaling – photos are less than a thousand words

     I’ve always been an advocate of journal writing – but especially now that mom has passed. 

     After we put my mom into assisted living and were cleaning out her house in order to sell it, my brother, Corey, took mom’s journals with him to Las Vegas and has been transcribing them ever since.  He also took a couple of boxes of photographs. There have been several parts of her journal which have corresponded with unlabeled photos or have provided memories that have had us thinking, “Oh, yea.”

     Other passages have given us more insight to our overly quiet dad.  And lately – mom’s emotions about caring for dad mirroring our own with caring for her.  It’s been a rather interesting journey. 

     Some journal entries often seem boring and it feels pointless to even write about.  Journal entries written by teens can often sound funny or disheartening.

     Recently I discovered a journal while cleaning out Biff’s old room and converting it to Jenna’s. 

     Biff had received a journal upon his baptism when he was eight years old.  It had been signed by his bishopric.  It took him thirteen years to fill less than forty pages.  It amazes me that he has moved at least six times since receiving his journal and has it still – though he's never once written in it since we moved to West Valley.

     His entries from 1995 to 2000 are quite simple.  He didn’t start dating his entries until after then.  Thus it’s hard to tell what lines were written during what point in his life.  Here are some examples:

Today I was mad.  We played horse in the gym. 

Today I went outside to play.  It was fun

Today I went to the zoo

I had a good day today. 

I am 12 years old now.  6th grade is hard for me.  I have two girl friends (lie) named Charlene and Nollie

His first dated entry is Jan 24, 2000

That got on my last nerve




I am now 14.  There was an attack on America.  How it happened
Plane crash in building

All night this is my life.  I go to school, smile at people. 
I go home, smile at people, then go to bed. 
That’s my life right now. 
Hopefully it’ll get better.  I know it will

I am now 14
I’m bored . . . there is nothing to do at age 14
I had a girl friend.  I forget her name, but I wish she never lost my number because I lost hers. 
For some reason I keep thinking about her.  I have another girl that I think is cheating on me, but what do I know.  I’m still little and there is plenty of fish is the sea.  What I mean is there are plenty of girls out there.


Today I wasn’t so bored like always. 
I’m wresting.  I started wresting in Nov. 28, 2001. 
And it’s now 1/14/02. 
The big thing about this is I pinned some guy
in 2 seconds.  It never felt better. 
I hope I can do it again.

I keep falling in love with people who probably are not interested in me.  Oh, well.  I wish that I was, will and be bigger than anyone in the world muscle wise.
That is I also wish I had a girlfriend that’s love and cares for me.  I hope I won’t be so alone with no one at age 16.  I’m bored.  “Sigh” good-night

I like school and school likes me.  There are people to talk to don’t feel so alone today as you can tell.  Sometimes I feel alone but today I just don’t care.  I hope it’s the same tomorrow.  It would be popular.  We’ll see.

Graduation! From high school.  I’m sad.  I’ll miss all that were so nice to me. 

Wow!  Looking at what I’ve said in my journal makes me want to burn it or start over.  I’ve skipped so many things and also I’ve skipped the good things that happen to me.  Now my journal doesn’t even make sense to me.  Oh well, in October last year I’ve met my girlfriend, [Sharon].  I love her and now I can’t go so crazy.  Any more. LOL  Like when I put in my journal that I’m “ing lonely”
This journal makes me sound like a little boy, a sad, dad, little boy
Last entry:

What is wrong with me?  How come girls won’t talk to me.  And when they do, they don’t want to?  I do the best I can to be good.  I’ve heard so many times good things come to those who wait LOL not happing.  I really really really want a girlfriend.  My heart hurts because no girl is giving me a chance to love.

I had mentioned writing from journal jars in this post and as I was answering a question, I thought of a new way to journal and clean up my photos at the same time.

I have gone through different photos and provided more detail than just the title of the photo.  Most of my descriptions have been really short.

“I can’t say for certain why this photo was taken, but I can give a brief description about the outfits that Kayla and I are wearing. 

“Grandma Mary saved up money and would travel each year to different countries.  With this particular year she had gone to Scotland.  She purchased the red plaid in Scotland and had sent the fabric to mom.  Mom made these matching outfits for me and Kayla”

I suppose I could elaborate more about mom’s willingness to sew and her diligence to finish projects.  She said her favorite part about sewing is that she would get so caught up in whatever project that she would forget to eat.  She believed that by forgetting to eat that she would be able to lose weight.

“This was taken on Christmas morning.  Patrick and I are wearing our new pajamas.  I also received this robe.  That was the same year I received my first (and I suppose my only) Chrissy doll and a paint spinner”

Other descriptions were more elaborate and had nothing to do with the photo really.  For example, I had come across one of my cousin Jackie and me and my mom holding Corey when he was just a few months old.  Didn’t remember the picture.  But I wrote about Jackie and how we’re related and houses I had remembered visiting in Magna, Utah.

I wrote down the names of all of Jackie’s siblings and her husband and four children.  I also mentioned that Jackie and mom and I had worked together at the ice cream store several years after the picture was taken.

Mom once wrote:  “My journal writing has been so erratic.  I wonder if anyone will ever read these or be in the least bit interested in what I have written.”

Perhaps we don’t feel like what we write is worthwhile or carries any value.  Actually our words are quite valuable – especially to our posterity who is experiencing the same feelings that we felt. 

Mom and I have often used our own journals as a reference.  We’ll need to provide a specific date for work or health and when we know the details of the surrounding events, we can usually find whatever it is we’re looking for.

Corey says mom always detailed the amount of tips that were taken in or that we each received each night she worked at the ice cream store.

I don’t expect that my journal will ever be made well known as the diary of Anne Frank (for example) but that isn’t why I keep a journal.  I do it for myself.  I continue for Jenna. 

My writing gets hard to read at times.  Especially when my mind is going faster than my pen (which it often does) and there have been times when I have tried to transcribe my own journal.  That is actually quite difficult for me as I often want to change it.  I would elaborate with some entries and choose to discard others.  I don’t even know how much original I have.  Now that I think about it, I know there is some that got thrown out when mom’s house was cleaned.  Nate had told me that there was a box of stuff that belonged to me.  I told him to throw it out without even looking at it.  I figured if I hadn’t bothered with it for over ten years, I could certainly part with it.  Too late now.

My advice to all my readers would be to take the time to write your own history.  It will mean the world to those you leave behind.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's No Longer a High School - Dreamathon!

We had scheduled a dentist appointment for Jenna on Friday afternoon.  

Fortunately I had contacted the school the day before. 

 Jenna noticed the bus go by and I took my cell phone out to see what time it was.  

It went off in my hands.  That was weird.

I saw that it was the school calling.  

I was told that Jenna’s class would be going on a filed trip and wouldn’t be back at designated time and that I might as well keep her home.  

When I repeated the words “field trip” into the phone, Jenna started crying.  She wanted to go.

I called the dentist to reschedule and Jenna and I got on the next bus and she went to her field trip and not to the dentist.

She explained a little bit about her day – not with great detail as she does sometimes.  

There was a piece on the news about “Dreamathon” – where she had gone on her field trip.

I can’t explain why my back was turned as she continued to stare at the screen before yelling, “This is it, mom!  This is where my class went today!”

I was too slow at turning around, but had looked it up online.  

Apparently Granite High is no longer used as a high school.

I wasn’t aware that the building is more than 100 years old.

So today it houses the Dream Press Dreamathon featuring art, music, storytelling, etc.  I’d never heard of it.  Jenna had!  

She played our tour guide on Saturday.

I didn’t count all the rooms that we’d gone into. 

I think I was most impressed with the converted lockers.

An explosion of art was exhibited on two floors. 

Jenna may have enjoyed it more with her class than with her two old parents. 

She likes to dream

She has a great imagination!

I am so happy that she shares her enthusiasm with us.

It really is amazing!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Women of Righteousness - Our Role in the Work of Salvation

         I’m not good at taking notes at conferences or Spiritual meetings.  I get so caught up in trying to get the exact quote or comment or whatever that I end up missing on so much more.

Last night there was a Relief Society stake activity called “Women of Righteousness” featuring artist Megan Rieker.  I didn’t think the event well advertised  - at least in our ward.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Turned out to be a truly eventful night.  And I learned things – not just about the artist paintings but discoveries within the past as well as my own self.

I’d taken an art appreciation class several years ago in order to appreciate fine art more than I do.  It backfired.  I often rolled my eyes when learning about contrast and balance and was more unappreciative about the entire fine art world long before the class was over. I started looking at paintings and wore less-than-flattering expressions.  I didn’t have an eye for art before I took the class.  I still don’t.  I appreciate hearing about it almost as much as I love algebra – though I do understand the concept of art a lot better than any mathematical terms. 

The paintings themselves weren’t as appealing to me as the stories behind them or choosing the model or the prayer involved.

The first painting she showed us was of Ester.  While explaining it, she shared a quote from one of James E. Faust talks taken from the October 1995 priesthood session of conference. (Interesting that it was from Priesthood)

“The Lord has a great work for each of us to do. You may wonder how this can be. You may feel that there is nothing special or superior about you or your ability.”

As I was following along with her reading, I thought, “You’ve got that right.  Nothing special about my talents that I would be called to be the enrichment leader.  That is crazy.”

“The Lord can do remarkable miracles with a person of ordinary ability who is humble, faithful, and diligent in serving the Lord and seeks to improve himself.”

Well, I’ve got two out of three.   I’m definitely not humble.  Not even close.  Though I feel I may be closer than to where I was 10 – 25 years ago.  Is that why I’ve been called to this position?  So I can humble myself?  There’s an interesting thought.

         I hadn’t actually noticed too many sisters from my ward.  It was during the Ester painting when Joni came in and sat down next to me.  She had gone to the wrong building.  

         Our stake center is actually the smallest stake center I have ever seen – smaller than any of the ward houses.  It doesn’t have a font for baptisms.  That is in another building we refer to as “the south building” Most stake activities are held at the south building rather than the stake building – but that’s beside the point.

         Joni made a few comments throughout Megan’s discourse.  I really didn’t mind.  It’s usually me that is making remarks.  I did not share what thoughts were already in my head.

The next painting was the one that appeared on the card that was handed out to each sister as she walked through the door.  Megan kept referring to it as “The Five Wise” but the flip side of the card says, “The Hour Draws Nigh”

She talked about the work that went into this piece that had taken over two years to create.  She took photographic pictures to illustrate the steps that she took.

Meanwhile Sally DeFord (along with Valarie Olson) was creating a musical piece called “The Painter’s Hand” and was looking for illustrations to go along with it.   Megan then showed us this video

At the conclusion she expressed though the steps may have been important to the video, she didn’t feel like the entire painting itself actually related.  But I think it does. 

Five wise virgins waiting for the master who can make a masterpiece of all of them if they but will it.  The painting expresses that they do.  They are just five of his masterpieces.

          Megan then moved onto a painting which had the name of the pioneer woman, and she read from her journal (the women’s) but I for the life of me cannot find the name of the woman.  It started with a J.  You can read a passage of her journal entry at this site along with other illustrations of Megan’s beautiful work.

         No, I’m not trying to promote her work.  I never even heard of Megan Rieker until last night. There are more to view than what I saw last night, and if the reader would like to know what they look like, I've chosen a link option.

         I suppose the painting that touched me the most was the last one that she showed.  It wasn’t framed as she had just barely finished. (reader can find the steps on Megan Rieker's facebook page) It wasn’t even the painting itself as what I had learned or had been reminded of.

         The painting was/is of two girls on a rocky path.  One is holding onto the iron rod and reaching her hand out towards the other. 

         When someone mentions “Strait and Narrow” I always think of “straight”.  I supposed most of us do.  But Megan shared the definition of “being difficult” – which made sense. Why wouldn’t it be difficult?

          Her painting actually reminded me of the pioneers’ struggles as their path was most often difficult – climbing over rocks and boulders, enduring wintery snows and cold and such.  I had never thought of it that way before, but I suppose they had their own metaphorical iron rod.  And it wasn’t an easy grasp for many of them.
         I sat next to a sister from another ward that shares our building.  The geographical boundaries in this stake are NOT on a grid.  They are broken up and very weird in my opinion.  Some of their ward boundaries overlap into our ward boundaries.  Several of their ward members are sandwiched between our ward members.  Strange.  I personally think the stake boundaries ought to be redone.  But that is just my opinion.  I don’t have (nor will ever have) the authority to change them.

         I realize that changing the boundaries would upset the membership a little bit – but in time it would be worth the change and finding new friends.  Often Mormons are so caught up in going to meetings and such that they overlook social opportunities.  We get caught up in a routine and robotic moves that we often don’t notice “the forest for the trees”

I’d never met this particular sister before, but she actually lives closer to me than the few members I did see from my own ward.  I asked Sister Gustar if she would take me home. She has put herself in a position of playing chauffeur and nobody else seemed to mind. I actually live closer to her house than the other two from her ward that she dropped off at their homes. I have often walked by her house without even having known it.

         Overall, it was a really worthwhile night.  I not only saw "women of inspiration" through the paintings.  I have met many as well. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Umbrella: To Take or Not To Take

Jenna told Roland that I wanted
an umbrella for Mothers’ Day.
It is a Beautiful Umbrella
and big enough for both me and Jenna.
I could have used it two days before Mothers’ Day
but have not had a need for it since.

The sun has been beating down on the earth. 
But there has been a cool breeze that
 makes it all bearable.
The sun is playing hide-and-go-seek
as the clouds pass over

when I look out my back window
the sky tells me that I will need an umbrella
when I leave the house to go get Jenna.
When I look out the front window,
the sun laughs at me and tells me
it will pound down
and make my palms sweat
as I hold my umbrella
and that it will be a burden to carry.
I end up putting my purple umbrella in my back pack –
just in case. 

I never needed it.  
Not for rain anyway.
I did attempt using it as a shield 
to block out the sun - only a short time though 
as I was afraid the wind would blow the spokes 
I did wear my windbreaker though.
This weather is crazy.
The wind is making me physically ill.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Morning Observations

            Most mornings seem to be routine for me.  I make sure that Jenna is dressed and has breakfast before we leave the house to catch the bus.  I take the bus with her because she doesn’t have the confidence in herself to ride it alone – and truthfully I think I would feel neurotic not knowing if she actually got off the bus or made it to school, etc.

            I walk her to the grounds behind the school and turn around to head back to the bus stop on the other side of the main road.  Occasionally I will take the train somewhere – like the post office or the library.  Usually I just return home except for the one day I went out to see Kayla – which I need to do again.

Jenna always wants to play verbal games as we’re riding the bus.  This morning she asked if I would come up with sentences in English that she could translate into Spanish.  We missed our stop as a result.

No worries.  Three stops after that one is another we can use.  And so that is the way we went this morning.  I returned in the direction of the missed bus stop as there is no cross at the one where we got off. 

On my way to the stop, I saw a duck with feathers sticking out from his beak.  “How odd,” I thought. 


1.                             I have never seen a duck on that particular street – even when the puddles bubbled over like rivers and lakes – which have long evaporated.
2.                             Why would he have feathers in his beak?  Is he a cannibal?
3.                             He looks like he’s out of a sci-fi movie – the duck version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  The feather incident happened during the moments when he was Mr. Hyde but now he’s Dr. Jekyll and seems confused by his surroundings.

Of course he’s confused.  I’m confused.  Why is this duck in this neighborhood?  Where does he swim?  Why does this duck look so dazed?

It wouldn’t have mattered which bus stop I had walked to.  I didn’t bother crossing the street.  Though I was headed north, I took the train south as it was headed towards the train station.  Today I actually took it all the way downtown.

The driver seemed somewhat ornery – well compared to the first time I’d ridden with him.  He decided to single me out and make me his friend.  He stopped the bus and announced he was taking a bathroom break but he’d be back.  

He asked me if I was 25.  I don’t know if he was just trying to butter me up, or if he needs glasses or if he just didn’t know.  I mean I do look younger than 52 – but I don’t think 25 plus years younger.  Granted, I did have my hair in pigtails in order to keep the mass amount off my neck, and I did have sunglasses on.  

           The driver said he has a son who is 27.  Oh, I would think that would be a let down to his son or even my own boys to think that I might be younger than them.  But I suppose I was flattered that he said I looked that young.

My cousin Michelle is teaching an art class.  I have considered enrolling Jenna, but I wasn’t certain how to get there on the bus and/or train.  I typed the information in the UTA site this morning – normally if there isn’t a stop anywhere of the vicinity of typed address, UTA will give me directions to walk 5-8 blocks to the stop or from stop to destination.  It refused to recognize the address I had typed in.  What the flip? 

UTA isn’t always accurate about commuting advice.  Usually once I have figured out the name of the route I need or have used said transportation, I can figure it out on my own.  My way is most often better than whatever UTA suggests.  There is a street and a building between the TRAX station and the building that I am looking for!  They seriously couldn’t figure that out?!?  Why, because it’s too convenient? I was a bit miffed at the stupidity on their part.

On the return, as I waited for a transfer bus, I saw a bunch of kids, maybe junior high age.  The girls were all taller than the boys.  They were on a field trip of some sort.  They all wore tie-dyed tees.  I wonder if they were passed out and worn over whatever shirts they already had on as the colors in the t-shirts really didn’t go with many of the shorts I saw – red/blue tie-dye and brown/green plaid shorts.  Not flattering.

            When I got back off the train and walked to the bus stop, it was the same driver who’d taken me to the station in the first place.  He seemed much happier and friendly after he had relieved himself.

            So that is my day thus far.  Probably not worth making a post over.  Oh, well.