Showing posts with label Biff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biff. Show all posts

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Loaded Paintbrushes and the Rest of the Story

After we had purchased the house
Roland put the boys to work
painting the trim red.
That was seven years ago.
Time to paint again.

Randy needs money
and Roland puts all three boys to work
and says he’ll pay them 100 dollars each
as soon as the work is done.
The instructions are fairly simple: 
Everything that is red needs to be painted over in green,
everything that’s white needs to be repainted white.

Biff was the first to show.
He works graveyard and comes
straight from his job
though two weeks ago
I think he went to the gym before coming here

Roland had to work that day
and so I had told Tony that he could be in charge
I didn’t want Randy to be in charge
because most of the time
he doesn’t even know what he’s doing
as he has managed to disappear
each time Roland taught the boys a trade

Randy appears to be genuine about helping
or at least that was the case two weeks ago
But he loaded the paintbrush
so that it dripped onto the cement below.
I know that’s not how Roland taught him
but listening has never been his greatest skill.
I am so grateful that he hadn’t tried painting Jenna’s room
Otherwise she’d have blue splotches all over her floor
not to mention we would have run out of paint
before all of the walls were finished
We put Randy in charge of moving the lawn.

All three boys showed up the week before last.
When Tony and Biff both took off
Randy continued to work
and may have finished
except for we ran out of green
Of course none of us were here last week
as Jenna had her 5K.  
That was the first morning
since Tony’s been married
that I remember him showing up on time.

Roland wants the job done ASAP
It’s taking too long.
He hired some other people to finish the job.
They didn’t finish.
They said they’ll be back on Monday.
Roland wants the job done NOW
so yesterday  Biff and Tony showed up
(Randy is out of town)
More got done.
It isn’t finished though.
There is more red trim to paint green
Jenna’s old room needed painting as well

After Biff and Tony left for the day
Roland recruited me to help him paint
We put a light beige over the pink
in Jenna’s old room.
The wall came out a light tan.
I like the color.

After the room looked finished
(though there are still a lot of flaws)
Roland took the bed apart 
and leaned it against the wall.
He then drilled a hole into the floor
and went under the house
to change the cable.

There was a time in my life
when I had gone spelunking
with a large group
and actually had fun
exploring the cave

It wasn’t until just before our exit
that I became freaked
at the very idea of the closure
and the "what if"s.
I have not been underground since.

Roland’s not at all fazed by the crawl space
but I am definitely having problems about it.
So he was in the crawl space and I was
over the hole that he drilled.
He could hear me. 
I could not hear him enough to
understand what he was saying to me
so I sent Jenna to stand over the crawlspace
and translate what Roland saying.

She hung upside down as she watched him.
The cables were too short and he and Jenna went to the store
to pick up a longer cable.

I tried to take a nap while they were gone
but my body was so sore that
I couldn’t relax.
I’ve never been eighty.
I’ve seen some 80 year olds who are quite healthy
and move like they’re twenty.
But I’ve seen more who seem hunched over
and have trouble walking
as though they are experiencing a shooting pain
with every step.
That is how I feel –
like the misshapen 80 year old
and every part of me hurts
even went I’m not moving

I couldn’t sleep
and so I turned on the television
to see if that might help
I flipped around until I landed on the BYU station
announcement is made that
Granite Flats first episode is coming up next”
I hadn’t ever seen it. 
I started watching it although
I figured Roland and Jenna would return
before the program ended
and I still would not see it.

The doorbell rang
and I got up to answer the door.
Roland and Jenna were standing there with several packages
half of which were food
I helped them unload their bags.
When I returned to the other room,
the TV had been turned off

Roland returned to the crawl space
and we threaded the cable through.
He then moved in the computer from one room
We hooked up and moved the desk
from the bedroom
Hard work
Both of us were tired.
Both of us were sore.
My mind was the only thing NOT sore
as it kept of thinking of things
I wanted to post.
I’m still sore.
When I got out of bed this morning,
I walked slower
and less gracefully than
Frankenstein’s Monster.

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.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Biff has always kept his body in great shape inside and out.  I wish I could say the same for his room.  I don’t have a picture of how it looked before I started cleaning.   

These pictures truly represent half-way done.  

Anyone who has been in Biff’s room can tell you that this is the cleanest it has looked from the day we moved in.

Actually it was clean one other time.  I took a picture for evidence.  But somehow I have misplaced that evidence.  Doesn’t matter.  I told Jenna that when David moved out, she could move into his room.  Not that her room looks any better

I had eight garbage bags FULL of Biff’s stuff (clothes mostly) I think three or four full of garbage.   

And four loads of towels.  FOUR LOADS.  This is a fraction of what I washed   

Jenna’s room was fine when we moved in four and a half years ago.  She was smaller then. Still in kindergarten.  We painted her room pink.  You’d think she would have learned to clean so it wouldn’t have crowded her out  

We’ll probably repaint it as it is going to be our computer/book room.  What will we do with all the extra space?

Jenna now likes the color blue.  We let her pick out her own paint color.

Once it was finished, we had purchased new curtains (well, new for her) and the decals she had received from Randy and Carrie for Christmas

Moved in most of her furniture  but also Biff’s old bed and dresser

She continues to add her personal touches

Though not all of her belongings have left the pink room, she has spent the last two nights in the blue room - her room which will NEVER EVER look like the first three photos on this post.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Needing to be Needed

Earlier in the summer of this year my eldest son Biff went to Texas to see his “girlfriend” Hailey – who I had never heard him ever mention before.  He couldn’t have been home more than two weeks when he hooked up with Jeanie.  He started out texting her and then spending time with her – once, twice a week which eventually turned into daily and is hardly even at home anymore.  Sometimes an entire week will go by before I see him – or even talk to him.

He did call last night to report his engagement.  No surprises there.  A date has not been set so I’m thinking an elopement is still possible as they had talked about that several times before the engagement.


Biff has always kept his body in great shape.  He eats healthy foods.  He used to retire to bed early (6:00 pm at the time I met Roland, I kid you not) and rise early (4:00 a.m.) but working graveyard has changed that.  I think he’s slipped a little on some things – but nothing extreme.

The members of Jeanie’s family (from what I understand) have poor eating habits and are not in the best physical condition.  Jeanie has already lost two sibs to health issues – both were in their 30’s when they passed.  Jeanie’s 31.

Biff has single handedly tried to change the family’s eating habits – especially Jeanie’s.  She’s been sick though – faints a lot.  I don’t know if it’s in trying to change her deit and her body’s going through some kind of shock or if it’s a hereditary things and she could pass away early in their marriage – or live for an additional 20 years as had Bill (my brother-in-law)’s first wife who had a tremendous amount of health issues basically all of her life.

Bill loved AnnaLeigh.  I don’t believe he has any regrets.  And I don’t imagine Biff will either – should he have to face them.  I think Roland is concerned that Biff does not know Jeanie all that well nor has an understanding of the health issues at hand.  But I’m fine that Biff is okay with it and that he is well aware of what he is walking into.

A couple can walk into marriage both in awesome health, and one could catch a virus or get hit by a bus or some other accident and not be prepared for something that may bring such a drastic change.  Biff at least is aware of what he’s getting into.  And it’s not like Roland has set the standards of waiting to propose.  He thinks Biff ought to have a long engagement.  I think Biff needs to go with his heart.  Kudos for loving unconditionally.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekends in Syracuse

       Jenna is loud!  Even when she is quiet for her, she is still loud by definition.  I think that's one reason Biff is gone.

       My eldest son, Biff, has a girlfriend in another county.  He says 45 minutes away.  I haven’t driven it. But it is where he current girlfriend lives.  He drives there on Saturday afternoon and doesn’t return home until late Monday night – I would guess at the same time that Jeanie leaves for work . . .

         He works on Saturday nights which means he is commuting from Syracuse to Sandy – that’s quite a commute.  And expensive.  Good thing Biff is using his own gas and not mine and Roland’s.  Not that he’d have our permission.  If you’re an avid follower you may recall from this post that Biff is supposed to be out of the house.

         Before he started driving his car again (which I still don’t know whether it’s registered or not) I had a dream that Biff brought Jeanie and her parents came with him – not to drop him off, but to help him move.  Biff introduced Jeanie as his wife and her parents – our new in-laws.  Now, my sister-in-law Sunny would be mortified if one of her children came home and announced he or she was already married.  Sunny would be hurt and heart –broken that she hadn’t been a part of her child’s marriage. 
         In my dream I showed no remorse, but total happiness.  I hugged Jeanie and her parents and welcomed them to the family – each was somewhat taken aback.  Biff went with his new father-in-law to rent a U-Haul and I helped Jeanie and her mom pack Biff’s belongings.

         Our visit was pleasant – as I recall – though I don’t know the exact conversation.  I did tell them about how Roland and I had met and that we were engaged for nine months before we were married and how we had a “reception” a month later.
         I woke up before Biff and his father-in-law returned.

         Roland doesn’t think it is a good idea to start marriage under the same roof as parents – but that is how Sunny and my brother Patrick started out.  Living in the basement of her parents.  Her father helped push Patrick into liking Sunny as much as she liked him.  That is my understanding anyway. Her father had invited Patrick to go with their family to California for their Disneyland vacation.  I believe that is where Patrick developed a love for Sunny.

         Sunny would have never eloped.  I had thought about it.  My mom made me promise that I wouldn’t.  But if we hadn’t already been married when terrorists crashed the planes into the Twin Towers at New York on September 11, 2001, I would have broken that promise.  I would have had Roland drive me to Las Vegas just after I got off work.  I thought the world was coming to an end.  I wanted to be legally married before the end happened.  But we were actually married two days before.

         The world didn’t end in the same sense that I had in mind.  But many of the comforts of the world I had once known were lost.  The economy started its downfall and regardless of oral reports that the economy has gotten better – not everyone sees that it has.  So many still struggle from day to day.  Struggle to put food on the table, to pay bills, to survive.  The world didn’t end but I think a lot of respect for it did.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

He found her through an Accidental text messaging

Roland ended up picking Biff up at the airport – which really didn’t do him any favors.  There have been many times that I have told Roland to stop holding his hand, but yet he continues.  Unfortunately Biff has remained clueless and it has been damaging to his persona.

Biff has struggled with being short, being slow and being single.  Hard to watch both of his brothers get their driver’s licenses while they were still sophomores and he did not even take drivers ed. until his senior year.  Hard to see them both marry before he even had a girlfriend.

He had posted on Facebook that he was in a relationship.  He was referring to Hailey from this post.  But now he is saying he wants to marry Jeanie who is only 45 minutes away instead of 18 hours.  

 Roland doesn’t want to discourage him, but sat him down yesterday and laid down the facts – although it is still Biff’s decision.  And as Roland told Biff that he wants him out of the house, he may just be pushing him further into Jeanie’s arms.  But I don’t know.  I wasn’t here.  I just got Roland’s side of the story.

I was still single and living with my mom when Roland met me.  But I was also doing chores on a daily basis.  Each person that I lived to prior to my marriage was responsible for cleaning up after himself or herself.  We didn’t just leave things where they landed – well, occasionally my mom did with shoes. 

Kayla and I once found twelve pairs of shoes in the back room – granted they didn’t all belong to mom – just most of them.  We set the shoes next to one another and made a circle of shoes.  That was the extent of our “naughtiness” Overall we’ve always been a tidy family.  "Tidy" is just not a part of my current family’s vocabulary.  If Randy and I had our way, our rooms would always be spotless  - but after nearly twelve years, I realize that it’s just a pipe dream.  Roland and Biff are too set in their ways to pick up after themselves (let alone anybody else). I’m still working on Jenna, but it’s frustrating.

Anyway, Biff has been borrowing our cars because his is still not registered (oh, there’s a surprise for you – NOT) and on Friday Roland asked Biff to mow the lawn and he put up a big stink about it and I couldn’t believe he could be so disrespectful when we have control over his ability to drive (legally) and haven’t had to house him since he turned eighteen and Roland told him he had to move out.

He’s still here.  I think he may have taken the car last night (without permission).  Or perhaps Jeanie dropped him off and picked him up this morning and drove him to our house.  I don’t know if he and Roland will work things out or if he plans on moving in with Jeanie and her parents (Roland says he doesn’t encourage going in that direction) Roland had also told me that he wanted all three boys out of the house when they turned 26.  He told them that before they had even met me.

And Biff says he wants to marry Jeanie – who he didn’t even know when he went to Texas less than two months ago.  Not that Roland has set a really great example in that department either – he had met me three days before he proposed.  Of course Roland and I were both older – perhaps for him it was old hat.  I still say it was too quickly on his part.  But then maybe it wasn’t his part.  We believe that God had a large hand in our getting together.

Kayla and Bill had known each other for only three weeks.  And Bill is constantly thanking Roland, as his proposal happened in little more lengthy time frame - when compared to ours. Randy had only known Carrie for less than four months when he asked her.  And according to Carrie, she thought Randy kind of nerdy when she first met him and was probably less thrilled about his extraverted behavior than I was with Roland’s.

I don’t know what the answers are.  Nor can I decide for my children.  If I could, my house would be immaculate and a lot more spacious.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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