Monday, March 31, 2014

What Season is it Again?


Jenna’s off for ten days for
Spring Break. 
It appears that
spring is also
on a break.

It did make a brief appearance. 
But mostly it’s been
winter and fall. 
We have seen a few
trees in bloom.

We have also seen
autumn leaves on
the ground. 
I don’t recall ever seeing
autumn leaves in
January, let alone
 March.

On Monday I saw autumn leaves still
clung to the neighbors tree. 
They are gone now.
Winds have been howling.
It has been
spring, winter and fall all
in one day. 

Not much summer,
though there have
been some who’ve
jumped the gun and
were wearing shorts and
flip flops in February. 
I didn’t think it was
that warm. 

I’ve taken poor Highness for a walk only
 one day. 
It was warm. 
There may have been
a breeze.  But not the
heavy wind that usually
knocks me in a coma.

Yesterday we could hear the rain
 pounding on the
roof of the church. 
When we walked out to
the car, it was raining and
snowing at the same time. 
Wet messy sleet turned
into huge flakes of snow. 

I wonder what kind of weather
today will offer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Dying Breed



          I remember seeing mailboxes in my neighborhood and at different corners when I was growing up.  I remember getting two Dr. Seuss books to give to my siblings.  I remember walking from our house to the nearest mailbox and counting the steps that I took and recording the number in the book. I don’t actually remember the number, but I know it was less than 100. Well, in one of them it was.  I don’t think I did them at the same time and so they may have had two different numbers.




          I have considered the mailbox an endangered species for some time.  Mailboxes started vanishing to very far and few between. 

I used a mailbox I passed between transfers when I rode the bus to one of my places of employment.  The last time I walked passed said location – the mailbox wasn’t there.  It was gone!  I didn’t know where the next nearest mailbox was – besides the post office.



Another thing that I found really odd was that sometimes next to the blue mailbox was what appeared to be a green mailbox.  They all had warnings that they were NOT to be used as mailboxes and warned individuals NOT to use it as a mailbox  - as though we could.  There were no slots.  The only way to get into it was with a key.  I didn’t understand what they were for.

Mailboxes used to stand out and populate as fire hydrants.  They were convenient.  Along came e-mail and texting and seem to have made mailboxes a dying breed.  A rarity.  And so have phone booths.  Those seem even rarer than mailboxes.




          Sometimes I will take pictures of Jenna posing with these rare objects.  For they may very well become extinct.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Creative Book Reports





Right after school started, Jenna and I joined a mother-daughter book club at the local library.  Each month features a book with a different theme e.g. science fiction, fantasy, biography, etc.  Jenna had read the Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell and seemed to like that and was able to participate in the discussion.  She didn’t care fro the City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.  I don’t always enjoy Science fiction but found some of it interesting.  But not enough to continue with the series.  Jenna LOVED Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. Fantasy.  I have such a hard time with fantasies.  I was able to read Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.  I liked the poetry as well as the history.  Jenna on the other hand, seemed bored. 

The book we’re reading currently is called PIE – a mystery - with recipes included.  First book that the two of us are able to enjoy together. Before this I liked Inside Out and Back Again the best.  Jenna’s favorite has been Tuesdays at the Castle.  Last night the group met to discuss PIE. The librarian had set up the displays to match the theme.  I really appreciate her thoughtfulness.





After each book review is a craft activity and a snack.  Last night the girls were invited to make aprons.  The treat was chocolate cream pie but the girls were more interested in the 3D apple pie puzzle which they played with and pretended to make apple pies.  I’m happy (for Jenna’s sake) that there had been so much interaction among the girls.  



Jenna also goes to the school library once a week to check out books.  She usually gets three – two written in English and one in Spanish.  She will create class book reports or projects for books she has checked out at both libraries.

Her book projects are so much more creative than the standard report.  She is allowed to choose from a wide variety of suggestions.  She has put on puppet shows, acted out, drawn pictures of, and created scrapbooks from a certain characters point of view.  For instance, after Roland and Jenna read a book called The Brixen Witch by Stacy DeKeyser, she cut out pictures of rats, two old women (one for the grandma and one for the witch) a girl jumping rope, and a fiddler to name a few.  On the cover she added a photograph of a little boy whom she assigned the named Rudy – for the scrapbook represented what he may have created himself.  She did the same thing with Junie B. Jones adding a gorilla, a stuffed toy, a baby named Oscar, a crib, and a pregnant woman. 

Jenna loves being creative and has fun with her “book reports” and I enjoy her enthusiasm and the opportunity she has been given to use her imagination.

Among her latest creations is a letter written to Barbara Park – author of the Junie B. Jones series.  She decided that after she received her grade, she would send the letter to the author.  So we searched on line for an address for Random House (as I figured that is where we’d have to send it). In our search for the address, I stumbled across this site:  I wish I had discovered it years ago.  I am very excited to start exploring it.  It was through the site that I found the author’s address in care of Random House address.   

Sadly we learned that Barbara Park had passed away just four months ago. I told Jenna I would post her letter to my blog if that would make her feel better.  It hasn’t been returned to her with grade as of yet, but I will post it when she brings it home.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Awards for Just Trying Out


I remember having volunteered last year for the school fundraiser during which time the children held a talent show.   I don’t remember any talent shows in the years prior.  That didn’t mean they didn’t exist.  But I’m guessing last year may have been the first. 

         I don’t know how long it went for – at least two hours, I'm guessing.  It felt like it went on for longer than that.  And though there were a lot of truly talented children, it seemed there were some that needed work.  Kudos for them to having the guts to stand on stage and perform when some of it was actually somewhat difficult to watch without cringing
 

         This years talent show has stipulations.  Only three acts or group of performers from each grade would be selected.  The time limit for each act is three minutes. 
         I asked Jenna if she’d be trying out.  Her initial response was “no” but then she said she was invited by a “popular” group to preform with them.  One was going to sing, “Let it Go” while the other five performed a dance.  For whatever reason, the group of girls went from six to four to three to two – whether any of those originally involved had auditioned or not, I don’t know.

         Jenna ended up auditioning with a friend who hasn’t had the best self-esteem since Jenna has known her.  I was happy to hear that Jenna was still enthusiastic about auditioning and assisting her friend at the same time.  Anna sang, “Roar” while Jenna acted out the lyrics. 

         I don’t know how well they did.  Jenna said there were four auditions just from her class – or the two classes involved in the dual immersion.  I don’t know how many others tried out for that grade.  But they did audition.  Their act was not selected.  But I am so happy to see certificates from their instructors issued to each student who took the opportunity to try out for the talent show.  Their effort was rewarded so hopefully they won’t be discouraged for the next talent show.

         Jenna really does have and has had very awesome teachers who encourage learning but also encourage having fun.  I’m happy that Jenna has been pushing herself.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Awesome Dedication




Last night I attended a birthday party for the RS.  The dinner wasn’t scheduled until 6:30, but I could tell by the decorations and the presentation that there were some on the committee that must have started setting up at 5:00.  And then they stayed to clean up afterwards.  I KNOW more time was dedicated to the  entire set-up/clean-up-process than was for the event itself.  I have felt much admiration for these sisters – but especially on nights like last night.  What a lot of hoop-lah and truly admirable devotion!

Shortly after Roland and I moved into our current ward, I was asked to be on the activities committee.  It was a short lived calling as the entire committee changed hands just four months later.  But I don’t recall devoting so much time.  But then our RS pres at the time was a Superwoman who somehow has enjoyed the challenge of doing it all with little or no delegation.  She cooked and baked and multi-tasked – or so it seemed.  And the food she prepared was (still is) great.  In all honesty, my favorite part about being on the committee was having the opportunity of bringing home leftovers.

Last night I stayed late.  Pitched in a little bit but not near as much as I probably should have.  Roland was in the nursery with several children – the most children I have seen at an RS activity nursery (or one of the few).  He ended up being the only leader.  Fortunately for him most of the kids were older and could look out for themselves as well as the few little ones who were there.   

He stayed to take down tables as I visited with those few stragglers that remained.  I think we took more leftovers home last night than I had ever taken home when I had served in that position.  Among were the remainders of an orange chiffon salad – which had actually been my favorite part of the meal.  Guess Roland will be taking some of that with him to work.

Thank you all people who are so diligent in their callings and fulfill their assignments to the fullest.  May we all have such dedication.

Do You Remember Dr. Demento?



Both of my brothers listened to Dr. Demento.  I remember Patrick and his friends singing the words to “dead puppies” and “shaving cream”.  I don’t believe they were fanatics.  Corey, on the other hand, was a true Dr. Demento fan.

He would record the programs and save songs that he liked.  He would play them over and over and laugh at the demented humor. 

In 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie got together with 46 other stars to record HelpingHands USA for Africa.  The song was called “We are the World” and proceeds went for Relief of famine and disease in Ethiopia.

I don’t know if it was Morton Downey Jr. who created the “We are the Worms” parody or if his name is associated with the song as he introduced it on radio program in Cleveland, Ohio, 1986.  Corey loved that song.  It would make him laugh.  I’ll admit that I smiled about it, too. 

It was rumored that those associated with USA for Africa had politely requested that the parody be removed from the airwaves as it desecrated so much of what they had tried to accomplish.  I don’t know if the rumor was true or not.  I saw a couple of versions on YouTube as I was researching for this post - so the song is obviously still played - or has been.

So what made me think of all of this?  As I was walking home from my car pool ride yesterday morning, I stepped over a dead worm out on the sidewalk.  For over 25 years I don’t think I have ever seen a worm on the sidewalk without thinking of that song.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Forecast

The weathermen said that it would snow yesterday. 
It did 
for about twelve minutes.  

Soft flurries fell lightly 
as Jenna and I crossed the street. 
Huge flakes fell quickly 
as Juan left the car. 
By the time we got Jenna to school,  
it had stopped.  

Signs of snow dusted a few lawns  
and seemingly seemed to miss others.  
How could that be
when the yards were right next door to one another? 
And yet there were patches of green 
amongst the white dusted lawns.

At 8:30 I took the umberella
and walked to a bus stop
to take a bus that I’ve been on only one time before.  
I put my unused umberella into my backpack
before the bus arrived. 
I got off at the TRAX station
and walked to the bank
to make a deposit.   

I returned to take the train. 
Before I sat down
I removed my coat and swater. 
I put my sweater
in the backpack. 
I did not return my coat
until just before the train stopped
at the station near the main road. 
I then got off to catch another bus
and returned home. 

The entire trip took less than 50 minuts. 
I was back home at 9:22. 
The air was moist but
I never needed the umbrella.

I wished I had thought
to turn the heat down before I left. 
The hot air was blaring at me
when I walked through the door. 
I went into my room and
turned the fan on. 

This morning I actually got cold. 
I don’t know why. 
Between 3:30 and 4:00 I wrapped myself in the bedding. 
Roland lay without covers. 
Something’s wrong.

“Aren’t you cold?” I asked. 
Surely if I’m cold,
he must be freezing.

“Aren’t you hot?” he asks. 
For surely if he’s hot,
I must be roasting.

And yet we lay in bed
in reverse roles. 
I was dumbfounded.

At four I got up
as the Aleve was wearing off.
I went into the main bathroom
and took a warm to hot shower. 
I could feel the warm air blowing
before the warm water poured over my body. 
And I was still cold. 
Does this mean
I’m coming down with something?

When I returned to the bed,
Roland was still without cover. 
And I was still cold. 
He did leave the house
wearing a sweater underneath his coat. 
And I am wearing a sweatshirt. 
Currently it is dark outside.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In the News


Sometimes there are stories in the news that just seem oddly interesting.  I am sad for the good Samaritan in this first story.

A good Samaritan sees a car crash and calls 911.  He walks toward the accident to see if those involved are okay.  He was injured in the process.  more here


This next one made me laugh
Officer pulls over to assist driver of stalled car and discovers 22 pounds of Marijuana in the back seat  here


 this next story (video) has made the news stations for three days at least

student and employee at UVU is arrested after “correcting” a confusing sign.  Here

 I really like this story, too

an off duty officer recognizes bank robber leads to arrest  here


and BYU gets a new president’ here

and why not throw in a human interest story about Despicable Me and other here

Be Advised!!!!!


Perhaps the average blog reader is far wiser than I and would never make this mistake.  And actually it’s kind of embarrassing to share, but if I can spare somebody else the pain, perhaps it will be worth admitting my stupidity.

The Drivers License Division had sent out a letter informing me of my upcoming need for renewing in person.  And though I have quit driving, and an ID card would be less expensive than a driver’s license, I would like to have that opportunity to renew for the long drives away from the city.

I don’t recall there being a website listed anywhere on the letter (I did look) and so because I didn’t have the address, I went to Google and typed in DMD – first mistake.  I should have typed in “renewal application for driver’s license in Utah” or something to that affect.

It’s so unlike me to choose the first site suggested to me by Google – but I saw the subheading of drivers license renewal and clicked on the site.   That first site was a .org, not a .gov.   Two more mistakes.


I don’t recall ever having been asked to pay for an application.  But I have never tried to renew on line (actually I was NOT trying to renew.  I just wanted an application so I could have it filled out before I arrived at the DLD.  I did question it.  I had asked Roland about it and told him what fee was involved and he told me to go for it.  And so I did.  I punched in our credit card # and the second I hit the send button, I noticed a strip at the top of the screen indicating that it was a private site and not associated with the government.

 
Drivers-Licenses.org is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.
GENERATE YOUR
Driver License Easy Guide™

Uh-oh.  So I decide I will use it but CAN’T GET PASSED THE CRED CARD INFO.  I paid a fee for a service that wasn’t provided nor did I want.

So if you ever decide to download an application to take with you, make certain that you are on a .gov site and not a .org

mydriverslicense.org,  I HATE that you scammed me.  You weren’t helpful AT ALL!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

You Can’t See The Wind


You can’t see the wind

But you can hear its ferocious roar

You can see the way the wind makes trees dance

or see branches swaying

or flags flapping in the wind

Sometimes it knocks over garbage cans

and circulates debris

Fall winds rip colored leaves

from the tree and send them racing

over streets and other yards.

Spring Winds seem more fearsome somehow

They suck  up all of my energy (what little is there)

and put me in coma

I feel quite drugged when the wind is blowing.

This is what someone with Narcolepsy

 must feel like.

I heard that it is a warm wind.

I heard that it is bringing in a storm.

That’s what was said about the last two winds

powerful winds that blew the debris and made a commotion

with its  mighty threats of breaking things  

but it hasn’t stormed.

This wind sounds more serious. 

I didn’t feel this wiped out the last two months

My eye is nearly healed,

unfortunately my mind is not

and the wind isn’t helping

My mind is  like a roof that has been

ripped off by the wind

 

or neglected rag doll waiting for

someone to love the life back into me


                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                         kfralc





Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Love to See the Temple . . . at least from a distance


I don’t know why I feel compelled to post my thoughts on the temple.  I certainly don’t want my opinions to seem like desecration to what many value so dear and sacred.  But I don’t have that sacred spiritualness.  For the most part entering the temple (to me) seems discriminatory and overall (more than any other emotion) I have felt lonely being there.  And I know I’m not alone with how I feel towards attending the temple.  I have at least two other family members who have also gone out of obligation but have walked away with less than satisfactory desire to return.

Recently I filled out this survey for LDS woman to get opinions mostly on plural marriage – which I actually don’t have a problem with in the hereafter.  The survey also asked for feedback  with the sealing process made in the temple.  I would have answered the survey questions a lot differently just two years ago than I did this week when I took this survey.  I do have a hang-up with so much that takes place in the temple – sealings being high on the list.

Roland and I were not allowed to marry in the temple at the time we were married civilly.  Though he and wife #2 had been divorced, they were still sealed to one another in “the eyes of the Lord”.  In order for Roland and I to get sealed in the temple, we needed a clearance from wife #2 – which she saw as leverage to control us – well, Roland in particular.  I don’t know why she continues with membership in the Church – or why she hasn’t been called to a disciplinary counsel.  She may not admit desire for following in Satan’s footsteps – and yet she does.  Almost as though she idolizes him.  And so it was as if our fate to be sealed in the temple was dependant on Satan herself.  That doesn’t seem fair.

Our civil marriage was thrown together after months of postponing and changing the date and hoping to be sealed.  It was what I’d been taught all of my life.  It’s what I was told to strive for.  And I was content with my civil marriage but somehow wouldn’t allow myself to feel complete.

Roland and I were able to do sealings for the dead.  I would cry each time we did them.  It didn’t seem fair that I could be sealed for others but not for myself.

In this earlier post I gave three reasons why I had given Jenna my maiden name, but I left one out.  When I was pregnant with her and Roland and I were still not sealed to one another, he was told by the bishop that Jenna was automatically sealed to him – and his first wife.  Oh, I get to carry the child for nine months but she can’t be sealed to me?  And yet Deborah (Roland’s first wife) was taken from earth while the boys were all young.  6, 4 and 3.  Plus the unborn twin boys that were taken when she was. 

One of the reasons I agreed to marry Roland is because he was already sealed to Deborah and so he could obtain Celestial glory with her while I may be destined to obtain “angelhood”  in another kingdom.

Roland and Deborah were sealed in the temple a week before she passed.  I raised boys – well from the time they were 11, 12 and 14 – so it seemed okay that she would get to raise my girl in the hereafter.  But she would still have my family name - at least while on earth.

How does that work anyway?  The entire sealing thing?  I mean, won’t the majority of us be adults in the hereafter?  It’s not as if we will be “raised” in the same way which we are on earth, does it?

Our knowledge of the hereafter is actually quite limited.  We don’t know how we’re going to feel or how it’s all going to “work out” or what we will be.  Based on my earth knowledge, the Celestial kingdom just doesn’t seem inviting to me personally.  Oh, I strive for a Celestial life because it’s been conditioned into me that that is what I want – but it really isn’t.  The very idea of creating worlds and living in spiritual and perfect glory honestly doesn’t appeal to me.  Too out of my comfort zone to maintain living in white clothing while playing harps (so to speak).  Although that’s just how heaven in perceived by some, doesn’t mean that is how we will spend all eternity.  At least I hope not.  But I certainly don’t want to be cast into hell either.

Growing up I had always heard:  “Any kingdom below Celestial Glory might as well be hell, because you’ll be all alone and you will always regret your decisions thinking ‘I could have made it’” Okay, I’m paraphrasing – and I had never actually heard that from leaders but rather cocky youth who’s minds worked like mine did because that's how we were conditioned to believe.  
 I don’t mean for it to sound like I resent the Church or Temple attendance.  I still have love and respect – but I also have hang-ups.  And though I had agreed with the un-Celestial/hell thing, I don’t anymore.

Jeanie and Biff have decided that they will be married civilly before they are sealed.  They were planning on being sealed.  They had set up a time and place from what I understand.  But guess what?  Jeanie’s first husband has a say.  They are still sealed.  The clearance presents all this red tape that is every bit as frustrating (perhaps even more so than) as it is with the government.   
I think that’s what bothers me the most – all of the politics that have crept into the Church – leading me to believe that the church and the temple are both run by the leadership of imperfect men and not always by inspiration.

My attitude now is a lot different than just a couple of years ago.  If Jeanie and Biff never get married in the temple, so be it.  It’s not as though they hadn’t tried.  And I expect their civil marriage will be far more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen in the temple.  They are currently at the temple right now – just not as husband and wife.

I know that by the time Roland and I were finally sealed, it just seemed somewhat rushed and very impersonal.  And I was not alone in feeling that way – though there were several in attendance who thought it was the greatest thing ever.  Truthfully, I have only attended one sealing in which the officiator really seemed to know the couple – and provided a sense of comfort that I had not seen at any other.  The ceremony was very well attended.  For some it was standing room only.  Thus in that aspect it really wasn’t comfortable physically. 

There are some sealings I haven’t attended because of the high population of family being smooshed into even the largest of sealing rooms.  And there are many I was unable to attend before I was of age to have my own recommend.   
There is a waiting room for those who cannot go through the session with their loved ones.  Big whoop.  “Here’s a place to sit and wait for your loved one who is getting married which you can’t participate in witnessing because you are not worthy”

I don’t actually know if that’s how the lot of them feel, but that is sometimes how I felt.

I do understand the sacredness of not allowing those that would be spectators with limited understanding who may desecrate the sacredness whether intentional or not.  But still – excluding family seems a huge sacrifice that one may later regret in the future. And yet there are several couples whose sacrifice have made their marriage more complete and have provided a sense of peace and closeness.

And for every story of resentment there are just as many (if not more) experiences of the positive nature.  One example comes from my friends who had made arrangements to be sealed on a specific day.  He had cancer and was strongly advised by the doctor to schedule his surgery as soon as possible.  First available date happened to be the same date of the sealing.   

The surgery was put on the back burner against the doctor’s advice.  My friends said they return to the doctor’s the day after they were sealed.  When the returned, the doctor could not find any signs of cancer.  And so I know there is a greater power behind the temple experience.  I also know that there has been heartache involved in others.  Apparently I’m one of those “others”. 

There is the joke about St. Peter showing a Protestant couple around the kingdom of heaven.  As they pass a large door St. Peter motions for them to keep quiet.  After they pass the door (while wearing puzzled expressions) one of them asks what is behind the door. 
Peter replies that the room houses all the Mormon folk who believe they’re the only ones there. 

How sad it is that so many have been conditioned to believe that very thing, for there are many outside of the LDS faith who live wholesome and Christian lives better than many who are in the Church - as though the Mormons own the title "Church" to be spelled with a capital "C"

I once had a religion instructor explain kingdoms and the individuals’ capacity.  He compared these to vessels of water.  A Dixie cup can never hold the same amount of water as the Pacific ocean, and yet a Dixie cup is capable of being full.  I can be full to my own capacity and live happily in the kingdom in which many will share the same thoughts as I. 

  I will not be happy living in man’s idea of the Celestial “mold”  As I mentioned in this post, there were more of us who ended up in the Terrestrial kingdom than the other two combined.  Overall, those are the people I would like to hang out with for all eternity.

And as Corey and I may not be able to visit my dad (according to Mormon Doctrine – as we believe he will be obtaining the greatest of Heavenly rewards) we are hoping that dad will make the time to come and visit us according to where we are (or might be)  I would like to obtain meekness to be more like my dad.  I just don’t seem to have it in me right now – though I would like to obtain that quality.  Perhaps by becoming "meek" I would have a different perspective than what I have for myself right now.