Showing posts with label activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label activities. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Spilled the Beans Literally – and They Were Hot!

            We got up early yesterday morning to drive out to Riddle and assist our ward members in clearing weeds and cleaning head stones.  It was a really good turn out – I thought, but didn’t seem well organized as there were several of us kind of doing our own thing without specific direction.  It’s a huge job.  Two hours was not enough.

            The young women and achievement day girls will be returning on Wednesday with cameras and writing pads to record information to put on grave websites and hopefully make somebody’s family history a little more exhilarating as he or she discovers relatives who may be buried in Riddle, Oregon.

            We returned home for a while.  Roland frosted and decorated the cake that he had made on Friday night.  I made two scrapbook pages on the computer and had become quite frustrated with the slowness of the computer.  It makes AOL dial-up seem speedy.

            I put some ingredients together and put my beans in the oven to bake them.  I took them out just before we left the house to get in the car.  The beans were quite hot, and I actually burned myself when I went to set them aside while trying to get my seat belt on.  Yowsa!  I can still feel the heat.  I am certain to have a scar.

            We joined our ward family members at the pool – where first there was a barbeque dinner.  As usual, there were more desserts than anything.  I think everybody who attended may have brought more than one dish. I know we did. We enjoyed the company of a few of the adult members as the children started filing into the pool.  

            My leg ached where the beans had burned.  The heat from the sun was not helping.  After a while I went into the pool just to cool off my leg.  

            So a service project, a barbeque and pool party – first ward activity that we attended since living in Oregon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

South Umpqua Memorial Pool

There is a pool in Myrtle Creek.  We have been there a few times. As I have mentioned several times before, Jenna LOVES the water.  She would like to live in the water 24/7.  We went there yesterday, but I did not get in with her.  I sat on the side lines and mostly read, but every once in a while I would look up to see how she was doing.

         Public swimming is from 1:30 to 4:30.  I was surprised to see her willingly get out of the pool and wrap a towel around her and met her on the side.  It wasn’t until then that I learned she had NOT gotten out willingly, but had been kicked out along with everybody else.  I decided to sign her up for swim lessons.

         As I stood reading over the schedule, I noticed that water aerobics is taught 5 days a week.  3 days offered Mon, Wed and Fri at 5:30 (which is when the sun is still blasting down) and Tues and Thursday at 9:00 am.  I figured Jenna could wait an hour for me and then I would wait a half hour for her.

         I enjoyed the intimacy of the pool and the amount of space in which the class was allowed to travel.  It has actually been a while since I’ve been to aerobics (not since I lived in Kearns) and I enjoyed the workout and the welcome to the class. 

         Unlike the pool area in Kearns – which always seems dark to me – the class was held outdoors in the bright sunshine and there is an awesome view of Oregon and there was a nice breeze and I really loved being there.

         Jenna seemed uncomfortable with the swimming level I had chosen for her, and so we changed it to a different level that will go for two weeks, and then I can probably put her back in the level she was in this morning and then to the next level after that.  Thus by the end of summer she should have three levels completed and know how to actually swim instead of just being able to save herself from drowning (which is good – but not as complete)

         Here’s to an incredible summer!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fresh Blueberries: One Dollar per Pound

          Blueberries are one of Jenna’s absolute favorite things to eat.  There was a time when Biff had purchased twelve cartons of blueberries.  She ate eleven of them.  She would have eaten all twelve, but as Biff had made the purchase, I thought it was only fair that he get at least one carton.

This morning we had the experience of picking blueberries from the DelEv blueberry patch at the end of Myrtle Creek – or so we believe.  The area didn’t seem to have service for cell phones or other such electronics.

Evelyn introduced herself to us and showed us where to pick the blueberries.  It took only 20 minutes to pick 5 pounds.  I think she was disappointed that we had not picked more – but we are not canners or freezers.  Perhaps in time – but we still haven’t unpacked everything for Heaven’s sake!  

Roland mentioned my blog to her and said I would help advertise her product – though I don’t know how many followers I have in Myrtle Creek.  I would guess zero.  I don’t know that I have followers in the entire state of Oregon.  But here is my plug.  And here is her flyer:

They are also looking for pickers (or a picker) to work for 75 cents a pound.  Roland and I tried to talk Jenna into doing it for the summer. Pocket change, we figured.  I could drive her there each morning.  She didn’t appear to be too interested.  I called our employment specialist after we returned home.

It was a fun experience.  Both Roland and I enjoyed getting to know Evelyn.  Maybe I’ll facebook the flyer I scanned.  I am fb friends with at least two friends who live in Oregon – only three to four hours from Myrtle Creek.  At least one of those two enjoys canning and preserving food.  I will post it to her wall.

It was a positive experience.  We’ll be back.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grandma Really Didn’t Jump From an Airplane

I am currently taking a family history class through the Church because Roland wants to take the class but can't always be there and so has asked me to come with him in the event that he has to miss a class.
Yesterday we shared memories of our ancestors.  I had known from the beginning that I would need to come up with something.  And I have written down thoughts here and there - but nothing major about anyway.  I finally ended up sharing three stories that mom had shared about herself and a family member's name.  Of course once the class was over, I have been able to come up with some other memories.  Here is one:

     My mom has never had a great sense of direction – at least since I’ve known her.  Sometimes she would forget small things and exaggerate about things like, “having to drive around the world” when it had taken her longer to get to places than anticipated.

     When she first was diagnosed with dementia, her children often wondered if it was still her personality that caused her to do things (or not do things) or if the dementia had taken over.  We soon realized that it was her dementia.

     One time Corey and Mom had gone over to Patrick and Sunnys’s house and were having dinner with the family.  The topic at hand happened to be skydiving.  Ellen and Kimball had experienced jumping out of an airplane in real life – and Candy had been saving her money so that she might go sky diving sometime in the future.  I think they said Sunny had wanted to go, also.

     They said mom all the sudden joined in the conversation.  “You know I’ve been skydiving, too.” And then proceeded to go into detail about her experience.

     Now, you must understand, my mom was fearful of heights.  She didn’t even like to ride the sky ride (similar to a ski lift) at Lagoon (an amusement park in Farmington, Utah) because her legs were dangling.  There is no way in real life she would have ever jumped out of an airplane.

     But eventually the account she related came with such superior detail that even Corey had questioned it as he looked at the others and said, “Did she?” as each of the others shrugged.

     Throughout the rest of her life she continued to tell her account of how she had “jumped out of a plane”. 

     Four months after we put her into assisted living, she met another resident of the facility.  His name was Harold Martin and he had flown in small-uncovered airplane for real.  He was fascinated by mom’s story and wish that he too had had the opportunity of skydiving.

     He must have noticed that mom’s story varied a bit each time she told him.  For what started out as a private jet with an instructor ended up a commercial airline that was going down, and the crew had insisted that each of the passengers jump out in order to be spared.

     If mom had lived any longer, I think her story would have changed to being pushed rather than jumping of her own free will.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Before My Mind Forgets

I was looking for some photo pages the last week.  As I was searching, I came across a scrapbook that Jenna and I created together – or started to anyway.

A neighbor who had three daughters of her own had actually given the album to us.  I don’t know if it was something she intended to fill up eventually and life just got in the way, or if she just really wasn’t interested in that kind of thing – or why it had been in her possession in the first place.

I don’t even know how old the album is.  There is a copyright from Lansdowne Publishing.  It was first published in 1997 than in 1998.  The book itself is written and compiled by Deborah Nixon.  Designed and Photographed by Robyn Latimer.  Beautifully illustrated and very thoughtful.  It’s called  Mother’s Memories For my Daughter.

  I let Jenna pick out all the pictures that she wanted to use.  As I'd written down my memories into the book, she would cut out pictures and paste them in.  We had fun doing it – and I think it will be a great treasure for her one day – providing that she can actually read it.
When my mind is working faster than my pen, I tend to get sloppy.  The fact that cursive isn’t really taught in our public schools anymore has made it even more challenging.  Jenna can’t read cursive.

There have been several papers and stories that she has written on – sloppy print and misspells.  I have scanned many and have a picture in her original hand and a translation.  I figured I could do the same for mine.  And so I’ve started.  Barely.  Started.  My mind has raced with almost every page I’ve scanned.  There’s much more detail in my head than what’s been written.  I have been writing down memories, typing them, searching for more photos – which I know exist – but I cannot find them.  More searches.  More memories.  My fingers cannot keep up with my mind.

Corey has tackled the project of transcribing mom’s journal.  I am so excited for it.  I’m sure that it will take me longer to read than for him to copy it all. 

He shares certain memoirs every now and then.  It is fun to see them on facebook and remember when.  I love my mom.  I have great respect for her.  She was such an awesome woman!  And just so giving and compassionate.  I wish I were more like her.

The memories I have been writing down are about my grandparents and great-grandparents and then I started to write down what I know about Roland’s mom and then I asked him to change the things that I misunderstood and to add his own memories.  He wrote things about his dad.  I’m glad that he did, because I did not know him.  I was in high school when he died – just over twenty years before I had even met Roland.

As I’m typing or writing, I can think of more things.  I add thoughts, insert paragraphs, forever cut and paste.  I will easily fill up several flash drives.  That is where I am.  My blog is on the back burner – for a while anyway.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Roller Skates and Scooters

       Shortly after school started, Jenna found some roller skates at a second hand store and Roland bought them for her.  She would never admit that they were tight on her, but I think they were. 

        She did try using them on occasion, but never really got the flair for using them comfortably.  After two months of leaving them outside in the cold, I told her to put them in the car and give them to Anna – not that they would currently fit her four-old cousin - but Anna can grow into them, whereas I believe Jenna has grown out.

         The wind has been howling something fierce.  Yet the last two days have been like a spring/summer transition.  Neighbor kids were riding up and down the street on bicycles and scooters.  How fun it would have been for Jenna if she did still have her skates – or maybe she'd feel embarrassed as she is the tallest of all the children by a long shot and wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Trume on his scooter.  She would have lagged behind with his sister – who hasn’t seemed to master gliding gracefully either.  

        Tank tops, shorts and bare feet in some cases.  Though I told Jenna I wanted socks on her feet when she jumped on the trampoline.  Last month I would make her wear three pair in addition to her jacket.  Yesterday she did not need a jacket.  I don’t recall ever having sent anyone to jump on the trampoline outside during the months of winter.  We’ve had strange weather. Could be the start of a drought.

         Would be nice if the weather would just remain.  Not get any hotter.  Not get any colder.  Perhaps the wind could ease up a bit.  I LOVE how awesome our current strange weather is right now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

That’s Pretty Good for 42 years

         I notice as I age, parts of me don’t seem willing to move as well and my balance seems to be thrown off.  Actually has been for quite some time.  Sometimes it’s like when you have your arms spread out to either side from your shoulders and you lift one foot while trying to close your eyes.  Go ahead and try it.  I’ve not met anyone yet that can make it to a full minute.

Two years ago I had an MRI as I thought I’d been having stroke related symptoms.  Nothing was found.  But today I keep dad’s walker quite near the bed and have used it at night just to balance myself while getting up.  I have not yet used it to assist my walking.

As of now I don’t feel any different as far as balance goes. I do seem to be experiencing a little more pain in different places – like just behind my left knee – when I twisted it while exiting a bus.  The pain comes and goes. 

The other day Jenna was balancing on the wall and got off when she realized it led to a dead end.  I jokingly told her that I had expected her to leap from one wall to the next.

“Do you want me to?” she asked.

“No,” I panicked hoping she wouldn’t try.  If she missed, she would have gotten hurt. 

So with the next set of walls she said, “Look mom.  I’m leaping” and stepped down – which wasn’t a leap.

We crossed a set of tracks and I tried to demonstrate to her what a leap looks like.  Came out more like a Bernstein Bear teachable moment, as I lost balance and crashed to the ground – feeling pain on scraped knees and forehead.  I felt blessed that I wasn’t bleeding from the ungraceful land.

Tears rolled down my cheeks because I hurt.  I was foolish to try something I hadn’t attempted for several years. Jenna did her best to cheer me up – which was actually not cheering me, but annoyed me the more she tried to cheer me.  She sounded like a broken record.

The next day she asked if I was okay.  My knees were tender still.  She didn’t want to offend me by having me relive the moment I tried to leap but lost my balance.  She said my fall looked rather cool – like I had attempted an awesome ninja roll.  Really?  That’s what it looked like?  It certainly did not feel that way.

Saturday Roland said that he would take her skating.  He said he would skate with her.  Maybe we could do it for family home evening on Monday – tonight.  And so after dinner, we went to Hollywood Connections and Roland purchased wristbands for him and Jenna.  Both had invited me to skate, but after my ungraceful leap/graceful fall, I was not about to add wheels to my already unbalanced frame.
Jenna uses the walker as she can’t seem to get the hang of gliding.  She looks like she does when she is riding her scooter.  Using her left leg to move her around.  
Roland started out hugging the walls.  He fell his second time around.  I told him to move his feet outward instead of in front.   He got pretty good and went around just a bit faster and away from the walls.  It was a lot of work for his body.  Not bad for an out-of-shape and over sixty-year old.  I don’t know how many times he went around.  I would guess at least ten.  He said he hadn’t been on roller skates since 1972.  Holy Cow!  He was 19 and I was still in elementary school!

 I had fun watching them. My legs hurt as though I had been out there with them.

Roland thinks he’s going to be sore tomorrow.  He knows he needs the exercise.  I exercise with Jenna everyday when I walk her to and from school.  And the wheels we use are on the bus and not on our feet.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Saturday Went Well

            I actually received quite a few compliments on how well Super Saturday went and how many enjoyed themselves.  That’s nice.  But I really can’t take credit for any of it – except perhaps the date change. 

            I thought the first activity I was in charge of had a better turn out – but maybe it was the same.  I didn’t interact the way I had with the first. 

            We had four stations – two tables with fabric and sewing machines; two tables that held blocks and paint; my station was a single table which held journals, journaling ideas and hand-outs; was it two or three tables spread out for the popcorn ball demonstration?

            The older sisters watched as Sharon demonstrated how she makes popcorn balls.  We had 8 – 10 sisters signed up for the blocks and a couple of stragglers who hadn’t signed up for anything gravitate to the potholders.

            I had brought a sewing machine in addition to Pamela and Scarlett bringing theirs.  Unfortunately, I did not have the hookups with mine.  I just assumed everything was in the box.  Even when I took it out, I wasn’t thinking that it would need a plug or pedal.  (So why do I even have a sewing machine? you ask.  I obviously don’t bother with it if I’ve had it in a box.  The truth is, I don’t sew, but Roland’s mother does.  We had it for her)

            Kristin went home to get her machine.  I think we had three sisters sewing potholders.  Scarlett, Lisa and Mary came to my station while I rattled on about journal keeping.  Natalie had her ipad and went around taking pictures of the various activities – which I am very grateful for.  No one had asked her to.  She just did it of her own incentive.  She posted the activities to facebook.  I am so appreciative to her.

            I’m appreciative to my whole committee actually.  They all pitched in and helped set up.  Pamela had had this great calling before me and so volunteered to assist with Super Saturday, as she would have done had she still been in this position.  And Sharon says she’s full of ideas.  I don’t think she wants to be on the committee though.  She starts her day very early and ends it before our meetings our wrapped up – or so I believe.  She pushes herself and then gets tired.

            I was sad to have missed the bishopric wives luncheon.  I knew it would be my last.  Roland was released from being a counselor.  Actually both counselors were.  Roland has been called to a stake position.  He’ll be starting his new calling this next Sunday, I guess.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Murphy is More Opposed to Super Saturday than I am

If anything can go wrong,
it will
– Murphy’s Law

this post may be a bit long
and a bit drawn out
especially if I put it
in verse style. 
You don’t have to read it.

Just after we moved
to West Valley and 
attended church,
I was called to be
on the committee for 
the activities for 
the Relief Society. 
Kristen was the activities’ director 
(or enrichment hostess
or homemaking guide
or whatever they called it then)
I was grateful to be
and enjoyed my calling
on the committee
but not as the chief.

It couldn’t have been more
than five months (or so it felt)
before Kristen was called to be
the primary president
and Loretta was handed the reigns of 
RS activity director. 
She did not seem to
want a committee. 
I thought she was bananas.

When Loretta moved
out of the ward,
Hannah was asked to do the calling.   
Enthusiastic Hannah who
always puts such excitement
into no matter what position
she is called to
and always serves with a genuine and powerful smile. 
She actually reminds me a lot of
my sister-in-law, Sunny,
who always radiates positiveness.

I didn’t think
anyone could ever fill her shoes – just as I didn’t think
anyone could fill Super Ruby’s shoes
(who at the time
was serving as Relief Society President)
but most callings
(at least that’s been my observation
in this ward) don’t last
more than a couple of years
(leadership positions would be the exception)

Meanwhile Kristen
(the same one who had been called
to primary president)
was returned to Relief Society
– this time as RS president.
Hannah had actually worn many hats
all at the same time (or so it seemed)
and was released a while later
to fulfill other callings. 

Pamela’s calling was short lived
or so it seems. 
She was called to be a primary worker. 
She is currently enjoying
the coveted positon of teaching
the class in which my daughter
is the only female member
in attendance. 
And guess who got called
to be RS activity chief
after Pamela left?
What was the Lord thinking
to call me to that position? 
What’s more, why did I agree?

Pamela appeared
to be quite organized
as she handed me a binder
full of information
that I could use or change
at my discretion. 
Kristen asked if I wanted
a large committee. 
Heck, yes. 
How many sisters could we call?  
I wanted at least one representative
of every age
and personality.  
I think we ended up with twelve. 
We’ve never held a meeting
with more than six (well eight
with me and Scarlett – who is
the enrichment/activity/homemaking counselor 
– whatever her title is. 
Heck.  I don’t even know my own title)

So the first thing on the agenda
is Super Saturday (I believe) 
which I so don’t care about. 
Actually there have been scads of activites
that I haven’t cared about. 
I usually to the enrichment/activity nights for
the association and not for
the activity itself. 
It hasn’t mattered which ward
I’ve been in. 
I have never stayed for
an entire Super Saturday.
And in this case
Murphy wants to take over
– has from the start. 
Stupid Murphy.

Kristen conducted the first meeting
as I appeared clueless on
what the word “conduct” even meant. 
She wrote down ideas and
outlines on the board. 
She has always had the appearance
of being greatly organized. 
Some of the members on my committee
took great notes. 
One actually took a picture
of the board. 
I was still in a trans. 
After I returned home,
I realized I had done absolutely nothing. 
I had not written anything. 
That’s not good.
I should be released.

Our Super Saturday was set
for August I believe,
but we hadn’t advertised,
nor did we ever
have a large audience to advertise to.
Summer seemed unproductive. 
Church attendance was down
all the way around. 
Good time to travel,
I guess.

I changed Super Saturday to September. 
Or tried to.  T
turned out not to be a good month
 for my instructors.
We had four activities to choose from
– I think. 
Pamela would teach sisters
to sew really cute pot holders,
Kim had her blocks
that seemed to be quite popular
at the last Super Saturday.
I was going to do
a recycling demonstration
and Tina had offered to teach flowers
or else we would frost cakes or cookies? 
Perhaps that was a suggestion for another activity? 
But nobody could do it in September. 
Change date again? 
or cancel all together? 
I wish I had just cancelled. 
I didn’t realize that Janice
(one of my committee members
who had come to just our first meeting)
had made arrangements to have
her niece speak that month.

Meanwhile I planned a 
different activity for September – 
one in which we would get 
to know one another.   
We pulled it off.   
Those who attended 
said they enjoyed.   
Super Saturday may not have 
the same results.  
For here is the latest catastrophe:
Yesterday I receive an invitation
to attend a luncheon
given by the wives of the stake presidency
to the wives of the bishoprics
the Bishopric Wives Appreciation Luncheon. 
Guess when it is? 
The same day scheduled as Super Saturday. 
I’d really like to go to it. 
But that’s not the worse of it. 
Pamela is one of the people to RSVP
– she can’t do the luncheon
and teach on Super Saturday. 
Right now I cannot get a hold of her.

Guess I’ll be emailing Scarlett. 
I have a feeling it’s going
to be a chain of reaction thing
that will affect Kim
one way or the other. 
Or perhaps all the sisters who signed up.
Would it be possible to change it again?
I should be released.