Monday, June 27, 2016

Please Don't Make Me Back Up!

            Savannah is a friend of Jenna's and today is her birthday.  Jenna put together a small present and asked me to drive her out to Savannah's house.  Normally I would just call first, but I figured even if she was not as home, Jenna would still want to leave the gift. 

            Jenna LOVES the area where Savannah lives as there is a LOT of yard.  Trees to explore, a gazebo, trampoline, tons of shade - it is located on the outskirts of town.  Driving there is not that big of a deal as far as time.  And the main roads are not a big deal either - but the final leg is VERY narrow and has a "one-car-only" width bridge that doesn't appear to be much more than a ramp.  And I don't enjoy driving that tight.

            I have lucked out with not having encountered any traffic coming the other direction.  Of course today was only my third time out there.  The first time was in the rain - just me and Savannah.  The second time it was Roland who was driving - and there was a "traffic" issue.  We were headed out and grandpa was headed in when we met.  Roland wasn't sure what to do. "Grandpa" ended up backing up for us until we could actually fit around him.

            I hadn't noticed all the "No Trespassing" signs until this afternoon.  Tons of them.  I wouldn't call it a driveway - a community dirt road, perhaps.  I don't know how many houses branch out at the end.  I think I pass three houses before I get to Savannah's - and there are at least two more in another direction.  I wouldn't even attempt to do that drive in the dark.

            I think I'd rather drive to Savannah's - even across the ramp and the skinny one car lane than to drive to one of the leader's in young woman.  Her house is gorgeous, and the neighborhood looks nice, but it is all up hill and skinny and would be quite the drop at night.  Roland had driven there the first time, but I had to do it by myself the last time.  Didn't enjoy that drive at all.

            And then there's the drive to DelEv Blueberry - where the drive just feels so long and I always wonder, "Did I pass it?" and drivers tend to want to drive faster than necessary and there isn't a whole wide selection of pullovers to let the fast drivers pass.  Even less spots to actually turn around.  I'm not near as adventurous in Oregon as I was in Salt Lake.

            In Salt lake I could drive somewhere and have options of streets or lots to turn around or explore.  I have learned that in Oregon, even the well-known streets that are labeled are not necessarily driver friendly - at least to a city girl like me.  But I know people who grew up here who don't think twice about it.  Driving these roads is normal to them. 

            The roads may feel empty and give a "ghost-town" feel at times.  But you know what?  I would rather have that emptiness than to deal with traffic and too many reckless drivers on the road.  It gives me a sense of freedom. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Do Not Use Neilco at Century 21

          Before we moved to Oregon, we had put in applications to various rental companies located in at least two or three counties located between Portland and Medford and Highway 101 and Interstate 5.  It was a matter of availability on where we would live.

          We put our bid on 12 different rentals within Douglas country. When the first rental became available, I made arrangements to be in Oregon in order to secure the house in Myrtle Creek.  I had called Neilco rentals at least three times to let them know I was on my way.

          Now for those of you who have ever considered moving to Oregon and are looking for a rental, my advice is to find a rental company that ISN"T NEILCO - their communication skills are pathetic.  If you send them an email or leave a phone message - IT WILL BE IGNORED - even if you talk to someone in person, they are NOT THAT ON THE BALL.

          My first encounter with Neilco was anything but positive.  If we hadn't already waited for two months for an opening - I would have said: "Forget you.  I'm going somewhere else"  I wasn't (still not) familiar enough with Oregon to do that.  I sucked it up.  I paid for the rental (though the entire process was a nightmare - and a blessing at the same time; for those who are new to my blog, I'd written this post almost a year ago  

          I really liked the house on Jenny (the street).  I really thought I'd miss it more than I do, but I am happy to say I really haven't missed the house itself.  We did enjoy having a garage.  There were a lot more sidewalks in that neighborhood (I don't think I've seen any sidewalks in Tri-City)  but we needed to lower our monthly mortgage and hopefully our water bill (still not as low as I had thought)

          When we moved in, there were stains on the carpet that I hadn't noticed initially - not that I would have prevented me for moving in.  I actually lightened the stain, but did not get it out.  Still it looked better than it had before we moved in. 

          We paid on time.  We took care of the property.  We had planned to use a carpet cleaner for the filthy rug - but we were told that we'd have to use their carpet cleaner and either we could call or they could call.  If we couldn't choose our own cleaner, what would be the point of our calling?

          They gave us instructions on how to leave the house.  We followed it to the letter.  Our cleaning deposit refund was less than half.  They gave us this outrageous bill detailing each charge - two of which were substantial - the rest was bogus.  The longer Roland and I thought about it, the more angry we became.  How dare they!

          We sent in our dispute.  We even had them sign for it so that we could prove that someone had received it.  It's been two months.  Of course we've never heard back from them.

          Meanwhile the "rental" has received a makeover that definitely does not give value to the place (as least in my opinion.  And perhaps the crotchety couple (perhaps they aren't crotchety; I just heard it was an older couple - I'm thinking more nitpicky than we are/were and perhaps they're partially responsible for Neilco's charging us for it) who moved in are the owners, if not . . . well Neilco will have their hands full with that one. 

          I think the company was ticked off because we purchased a house and did not use Century 21 (their parent company - I guess) or perhaps we would have received more of our deposit back.  We've been treated unfairly!  I don't recommend that anybody use them - unless maybe you don't' care about finances or communication. 

         Village Realty is awesome!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Custom Canes by Chris

            After going to the library this afternoon,  Jenna and I went to Millsite Park.  

            There we met a man named Chris.  I would have never guessed that he was/is almost 70.

            He says he's at the park every day.  He needs to exercise  and chooses to walk around the park with his personalized cane.  He had a second branch to craft for another cane for someone else close by. 

            This is Chris:

            This is not the best photo of the cane, but I tried to blow it up for a better view.

            He carved words and also used an adhesive to fasten other words from newspapers and magazines.  Things that he likes.  Words that represent who he is.  He uses a pool ball to hang onto. 

            He enjoys making them.  Keeps him busy.  I think they're cool.

            I also took these of photos of Jenna:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Picking Blueberries - Holy Cow

        Last year when we'd gone to pick blueberries, we would leave early in the morning to avoid the sun (which eventually caught up with us - and pounded on us and sent us home) Blueberries were 1.00 a pound.

        I told one of Jenna's friends (who possibly likes eating blueberries more than Jenna does) that she should go with us - but it was always too early in the morning for her household.  And then we stopped going.  Blueberry season was over.

        But now it's started back up again.  Roland sent us out to pick blueberries asking that we please come home with at least 5 pounds.  Oh, my word. Callie and Jenna went crazy and picked over six pounds each, while I barely managed 3 pounds.  

Blueberries had gone up in price.  I was floored when I learned we had picked sixteen pounds.  I hadn't brought that much cash - I had to write a check.

        Roland made two blueberry cobblers last night (yum) and we had blueberry pancakes this morning.  Almost three gallons of blueberries remain in the freezer.  Callie took home most of what she picked and asked if she could return with us when we go again.  She can.  But she'll have to bring her own money. 

Belated Gifts

            We celebrated Jenna's birthday at the end of the month (see here) because of the move.  Sadly more would have showed up if we had stuck with the original date.

            Savannah and Bella had both shown up to the bowling alley with gifts, but Kyle did not have one - which is okay.  In the past we have always expressed our interest is with the guests themselves and gifts aren't even necessary. 

            Kyle was overly quiet that day.  Seemed sad, almost.  Was it because she hadn't brought a gift?  The other night we took her and Jenna to the movies as Jenna had been given tickets by the school earlier in the year for her good behavior.  They expire at the end of this month.

            Kyle must have loaded up between April 23 and this past Monday, as she entered the car with an armload of gifts - on top was a green and black fedora - which Jenna immediately put on her head before rummaging through the box of "treasures" that Kyle had handed her.

            So many wonderful gifts that Jenna truly enjoys, among which were: a little bubbled game of trying to get the candy into the frogs mouth, a small lava lamp which Kyle had made, two camouflage barrettes (one in the shape of a flower), green headband, notebook, pencils, fingernail polish, zippered pocketbook, playing cards, silicone popsicle maker, 4 packets of kool-aid, a small jar of body butter . . .

            We had taken them to see "Finding Dory".  Kyle was way more talkative than she had been at Jenna's party.  Maybe she just does better on a one on one?  Different girl.  Much happier.

            And yesterday Roland received socks and tee shirts for Fathers' Day from one of the boys.  He loves Superman and Superheroes.  These gifts were so awesome!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Jenna's answers for school Profile

        While searching for a remote control, I found an assortment of papers that evidently came out of Jenna's backpack.  I don't automatically throw things away, but sort through them in case there is something important.

          I was amused at finding three or four different questionnaires  I was surprised by some of her answers. Happy about some.  Questioned some of her answers.  She's at camp at this moment, and so will not be able to discuss it with her until tomorrow at the earliest.  May not put the same smile on my readers' faces as it did for me, but this is today's post.  (I did correct her spelling; made my own comments in red)
What is your full name?          [Jenna Cannon Romero]

Where is your Home Town?    Salt Lake City, Utah

What is the best toy/object you own?     my Pillow Pet, Fudge

What sports or games do you play?                  Arm Wresting

What else do you do in your spare time?          Wrestling
          don't know why the answer is wrestling, Jenna will shoot hoops, read, listen to music and watch TV;

What singer/music do you listen to?         pop, Christian, 
                                                                 Disney, baby

What person (famous or regular) do you think is great?                                              someone from her school I've never heard even mentioned before

What's your favorite TV show?                   Big Bang Theory

What is your favorite book/book series?  Book of Mormon

What is a saying or expression that your generation is using?                 
                                                                 Name that movie . . .

What do you want to be when you grow up?             
                                                                 I don't plan on growing up

Do you have a nickname?               Unknown Biker Girl,
                   she actually has several. Some kids call her Georgina (she has no clue why) and some have referred to her as JJ

What do you do when you're mad?        Jump on the tramp

Favorite holiday and why?              uh . . .   that would be whatever the upcoming holiday is.  I have always said Halloween, but  she really likes Christmas and is always excited for whatever holiday is NEXT - I would think Independence Day . . . though she enjoyed it more with her brothers than she did in Oregon last year

Ever won anything?      yes, a medal        
                             she received medallions for reflection contest and a similar one through Vista

What do you do on rainy days?     go outside            she LOVES the rain

Favorite flower?            morning glory

Oldest Living Relative?          Aunt Trudy            age   117
          I don't know where she came with that answer.  Aunt Gertrude will be 95 in October of this year {2016) The oldest person you know is her brother, your great great Uncle Ted, who turned 99  in January;  They had aunts who lived to be in their 100's.  I personally don't know of anybody who's lived passed the age of 106.

Most annoying bug?         Mosquito

favorite actor?              [Corey Cannon] alias name for my brother

Favorite actress?          Idina Menzel

Did you ever believe in the Tooth Fairy?  Yes

Who should play you in the movie version of your life?        
                                            [AnnaLeigh Jolly]            her cousin

If you were an animal, what would you be?     
                                            Grizzly Eagleshark
I was surprised that she didn't say cat - though previous questionnaires revealed that she does like dogs better than cats.  She was a top cat in one elementary school and a lion in another and wished to continue attending schools that had some kind of cat as their mascot.  Didn't go according to plan.  She is a hornet.  If we'd stayed in Salt Lake, she would be a General.

Best beverage?                               Root Beer

Who do you wish you could meet?          Sheldon  Cooper

                   I believe the actual character played by Jim Parsons, but not necessarily Jim Parsons himself

Favorite song:                                  Hall of Fame

Earliest memory:           My crib bed sheets

Who do you call when you're upset?                 [Anna Jolly]

Do you recycle?           Yes

Last Book you read?              No Talking by Andrew Clements

What kind of shoes are you wearing?                sneakers

What was the last thing you ate?   Scooby Snacks

Favorite car?                          the one that drives

best cartoon ever?                Calvin & Hobbs

Favorite doughnut?                Maple Bar

Stupidest thing that I've ever done?                  Broke a recorder

Best sitcom ever?                   Big Bang Theory

Favorite place you've visited?         Las Vegas   she isn't here to ask what it is about Las Vegas made it her favorite.  I would guess Uncles Corey and Joh; Corey doesn't especially care for Las Vegas

Least favorite vegetable                 Broccoli

One word that describes you?                 [Jenna]

Name of your very first friend          Jamie

Best pizza topping:                 Pepperoni

Ever owned  a goldfish?                  Yes,  named Elmo

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Movies Every Third Wednesday

          Brother Ewell provides a service for the community for Senior citizens and the Food Bank. 

          Every third Wednesday at Roseburg Cinema is a free admission to Senior Citizens (or persons over 50) although encouraged to bring a can of food. 

          I've never been to one until this morning.  Usually I forget - or just haven't gone because it's Jenna's early day. 

          Movie is scheduled for Friday afternoon - except for summer.  The show starts at 10:00 a.m.  but we were told to be there at 9:00.

          So apparently the audience members have a half hour to visit with one another before Bill (or Marilyn) gets up to make announcements and introduce someone in the community and give out free prizes to matching ticket numbers given upon entering the theatre lobby. 

          Roland took the time off to go with me.  I don't know if we'll be going again.  I don't think I will this summer anyway.  Maybe after school starts.  We'll see.

          This month's feature was "Me Before You".  I loved the character that Emilia Clarke portrayed.  Lou Clark (the main character) appeared to have come from a poor background, but had a healthy attitude and happy heart.  I liked that she was happy.

          I understood Sam Claflin's character to a degree, but would have liked to see him be more accepting about changing and not be so bitter about losing what he considered his character and identity. 

          Lou's boyfriend seemed far too involved in himself and she just went along with his desires - until after she tried knew things with Will and made discoveries that she may have never have learned otherwise - even though she didn't agree with some of his choices.  I believe it made her grow even more.

          It had a lot of funny moments - I think possibly more than the tear jerking moments.  But there was definitely tear jerking.

          Overall I thought it was a good movie.  I will see it again someday.  I think Roland was quite grateful that we hadn't had to pay for it.  That is how I feel about his movies.  What a waste of time and money on my part.

          I sent him to the theatre with another ward member when he wanted to see "Batman Vs Superman" - or whatever it was.  Neither Jenna nor I were interested, and apparently no one in Ron's family was interested either.

          One Sunday Ron suggested he and Roland get together again - which seemed to upset Jenna.

          "Don't go see 'Finding Dory' without me!"  I started laughing and kidded with her.

          "Yea, right.  Ron came up to dad and said, 'You know, I really enjoy those kid-vids, but I have two that will always talk throughout the entire movie  and ask questions . and then there's the baby who doesn't even pay attention - so why don't you and I go see "Finding Dory" together and see if we can enjoy it without the kids.'"

          Jenna didn't think my mocking her was at all funny.

          If Ron and Roland go to the movies together, I can guarantee that it will be a movie that neither Jenna nor I would like to see.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One Van for the Girls, Another for Their Equipment

          I was on the road all day yesterday - most of it anyway.  It seemed like I had been driving the same piece of highway for more than four hours.

          The class for water aerobics started yesterday.  I had taken Jenna with me.  It was just us with the instructor in the pool - which was warm, though the air was not.

          The library doesn't open until 12:00 on Mondays, and so we returned home for two hours and Jenna finished her packing. 
          At 11:30 I received a reminder to please have my girls' belongings to the leaders house sometime today (yesterday) and had planned for that anyway.  I told Jenna we would drop her things off and then go to the library.

          After I turned onto our former street, Jenna spotted three of her friends playing together and asked if she could leave the car.  I told her to go ahead and play with the friends she misses seeing more often than just once a week.  She had fun. 
          I dropped off her bags and was told that she might want a chair.  I left Jenna on the street where we used to live and returned for the chair and a blanket and drove back to the leader's house.  I took Jenna with me the second time and we headed to the library and she registered for the reading program.

          She wanted to stay for story time - though she is really too old for story time.  She checked out 8-10 books and I said we should go to the store as story time would not be for another hour. 
          So I drove from the library to Dollar General - which is not that far of a drive.  We browsed a long while purchased Band-Aids, baby wipes, a water gun and some eye drops.  Returned to the library and saw some of our neighbors leaving.  I asked if they weren't going to stay for story time.  I didn't get an answer.  As it turned out we didn't stay for story time either.  There had been a huge mass of kids and then the children's part of the library had emptied out.  What a shame.

          Next library activity scheduled was the teen water fight event at 5:00.  We had to go to Roseburg at 3:00.  I asked Roland if we could please return in time for the library activity that Jenna had been looking forward to now for almost a month.
          So we had programmed the GPS to take us to Charter (a cable company I often refer to as Comcast's little brother - both trying to expand - Comcast with Xfinity and Charter with Spectrum) so we could turn in our cable boxes (which we can no longer afford - not that really could in the first place.  We NEED the internet, but we don't need cable)

This is what the Comcast building looks like in Salt Lake:

and this is the Charter building in Roseburg:

          As long as we were in Roseburg, we decided to pick up a few items that are a bit less costly than in Myrtle Creek.  While on the road, the cars were jammed together much like they are in Salt Lake.  A horrible accident within a main intersection.  Unbelievable.  Just like Salt Lake.  Second traffic jam we've run into since being in Oregon.  Horrible.  Horrible.

          We did not return to Myrtle Creek until about 5:10.  The air was so overcast and seemed to promised rain.  The water fight event had been postponed until next week.  That is good.  Though it doesn't bother Jenna, I was not excited to have her being wet in the chilled air.

          This morning I took her to the church and dropped her off.  She carried a small bag with a few books (I told her she couldn't take any library books) the baby wipes, sunscreen (although its highly doubtful that she'll need the sunscreen) and a small flashlight.

          It wasn't raining when I dropped her off, but I'm certain they'd encountered much moisture on the way to the campground.  It rained for about an hour this morning.  The sun has made a few appearances, but the air hasn't warmed up at all.

          I did not choose to go to water aerobics today.  I think the temperature ought to be above 60.  It has been in the low 50's.   I can live with that.  I'd rather have it be 50 than 80 or 90.         
          I'm told the girls will get rained on when they are at camp.  I hope that Jenna has a good time and may open herself up. 
          There is a saying:  "People who don't know me think I'm quiet.  Those that do know me wish I was."          -      
                                                                         That's Jenna.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Assisting and/or Taking Over - Being Involved

            After a successful Relief Society activity that I had inadvertently volunteered to set up, I was called to head the RS activity committee.  What committee???

            I have a few ideas to share, but some require more participation than I have been getting.  Aurelia loves the idea of doing a "Price is Right" activity as we had done in my previous ward.  See here and here hopefully (if there is no screen on the second here, try this one).

            I initially brought it up because Aurelia said that we needed to do an activity on food storage and I thought that was a fun activity - but certainly not one we can pull off with just three participants.  So that will be on hold until September at least.  Meanwhile I gave the suggestion of doing a Patriotic program.

            Several years ago (several) my brother, Corey, was asked to present a program to the RS on patriotic songs.  I don't know if he came up with his own agenda on how to present it, or if it had been suggested to him.  I know that he did his own research.

            It was back in the day before Internet and Google.  Corey used the card catalogue and spent hours upon hours checking out material at the library and recording songs.  With each piece of music he played, he presented a bit of trivia about the song itself. 

Roland wanted to change this to make it
more appealing.  Granted, it's not the
 greatest, but still from his suggestions

            It was a great program and very informative.  I kept the tape that he had put together, but have since then misplaced it.  Unfortunately his notes have been discarded and I have had to come up with my own research - which is not a bad thing. 

            With internet access it should work up faster for me than it did for Corey.  Maybe not.  I am getting input and feedback - but not from the sisters I serve, but rather Roland who is eager to jump in and tackle each project I have created for the benefit of the Relief Society.  He always wants to help with the hand-outs and the activity itself.  Roland's like that.  He wants to be involved. He's assisted in a countless amount of activities on a stake level.

            Last week he was released from his calling as Sunday School teacher and was put in as the assistant to the financial clerk - which only goes to prove that God really does have a sense of humor.  As I have had time to think about it, I truly do believe the calling was inspired and that he will grow from it and perhaps learn how to budget our money and time as well.

            He finally did come up with his own announcement (using the background he had initially suggested)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hot, Cold, Hot, Cold . . . a Plea to Mr. Sun

The other day I was driving. 
I started out with my sunglasses on. 
I would get too dark. 
I'd take them off.

Sun shows itself. 
Sun hides behind
the clouds. 
Hot, hot, hot. 

My ears are cold. 
 don't need
an entire hat - just
a band to cover my ears. 

Make up your mind!
I personally would rather
have the raindrops and
cooler whether. 

I would
just like to be
able to dress for one or
the other and not
vacillate back and forth,
back and forth. 

Please Mr. Sun,
go on a long break and
do not show yourself until
it is over. 
And then please
Keep your distance. 

Thank you.