Showing posts with label changes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label changes. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Pig Next Door

         Aside from being overly quiet, my dad seemed very unobservant.  A running joke was that my mom could shave her head bald and spraypaint her scalp gold and he wouldn’t notice.  He said he would.  And perhaps he did notice things but never let on that he noticed – therefore we assumed he just wasn’t observant.

         But now it is I who misses out.  I wish I was more observant than I am.  I think one of the greatest things about spending time with small children is that they observe everything.  They notice so many things that I have taken for granted.  I love it when I have the opportunity to explore the world through their eyes.

         Roland is very observant.  Hopefully Jenna will continue to take after him and both of them will point out the things that I continue to miss.  Jenna always pays attention to the pig next door and tells us when a change is made.


         The couple to the north of us have lived on the street over 40 years – though they started out in a different house at the other end of the street.  I think  they said they’ve lived in the house next door for 30 years.  From my understanding the pig had been left on the mantle and was left there for a few months before they brought it outside. 

         I don’t know what color the pig was before they went out of town, but they said when they returned the pig had been spray painted green and had a yellow O painted on the side.  There appear to be a many Oregon “Duck” fans.  The painted pig served as a reminder.

         The couple moved the pig away from the house and further down the driveway so that it could be seen from the street.  It changes colors and wears various hats according to the holiday (or whatever other occasion) I guess it became a challenge for neighbors to “up” the appearance of the pig. 

         I don’t know how many years  or how many others participated.  Since we’ve been here, I think the pig has been through seven make-overs – but I think the only participants are the couple next door – perhaps children who visit.

         The pig has been black, yellow, red, white and pink. It may have been orange around Halloween.  Jenna has always been able to report its latest fashion.  I personally don’t pay that much attention.  Nor do I pass it as often as she does.  I do remember a top hat, white bonnet, red bow tie, heart sunglasses, eyepatch, etc.  Sometimes the pig looked larger than it seems to at this present time. 

         It’s larger than a standard “piggy” bank.  I don’t even know what material the pig is made of.  It looks ceramic, but doesn’t appear to have been chipped – at least from my point of view.  I haven’t touched it nor have I participated in the “make-over” game.  Jenna has enjoyed watching its transformations.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weeding Out the Thorns - both Literally and Figuratively

        Recently I posted to facebook that I really LOVE Oregon - but did not give details. One friend who lives in Oregon asked for details.  I answered her in a private message. I have many friends and family in Utah who may not share my feelings about the hoop-jumping that so many have to deal with in the state of Utah that I did not want to post my number one reason why I like living in Oregon.  I love being in Oregon because it isn't Utah - or more specifically Salt Lake City. I guess it's wrong of me to judge the entire state by just one county.

        Thus far I have not had to jump any hoops - not even to get a driver's license or state plates.  Nor did I have to wait.  I have been treated like a person and not just a number.  I count!  I may have counted in Utah, but I didn't feel like I did.  Especially when it came to voting.  Seriously.  Utah's a Republican state.  Overall I am not.  I vote for the man, not the party.  Often I actually vote against someone. 

        I grew up on the east side of Salt Lake.  I never questioned the government or political issues or even the PTA.  I suppose I just didn't know any better.  I grew up quite naive and though I knew about existing situations - I didn't think I knew any of those circumstances personally.  And then I married Roland and was introduced to deceit and corruption - not by him, necessarily - but by poorly run systems that failed us.  The systems, quite frankly, fail many.  And I know it's everywhere and not just in Utah. That still doesn't make it right.

        I didn't have to deal with thorns on the east side, but the west side was full of thorns - or perhaps it was just in those neglected neighborhoods that we could actually afford.  While the flower itself seems harmless, it has to be mowed or weeded immediately in its yellow stage - otherwise it becomes a vine of thorns which attach themselves to footwear and thus gets tracked in the house.  And it doesn't seem to matter how much I sweep or vacuum, the thorns are always there - on the floor, in the carpet, on the furniture . . . I've had them attach themselves to my socks.  I didn't dare to go barefoot indoors - let alone outdoors. 

        Our grass has always been dry - no matter how much we tend to water it.  Even when it has been green, there are always patches of brown - except for the green stems that bring the thorns.  Our lawn has always been ugly.  Even here.  It is dry.  The cost of water has gone up.  Only a few of our neighbors have green grass.  Most lawns are dry and ugly.  But I can still go outside in my bare feet.  I don't have to wear shoes to take the garbage to the curb or run out to the garage or pick the mail up across the street.  For the most part, I do.  For the most part I wear some kind of footwear because I'm in the habit.  But I don't have to anymore.  The yellow weed flowers in Oregon don't turn into thorns.  This is a good thing.

        I miss the Salt Lake County library system.  I miss having access to public transportation - though it was not always reliable, it was better than whatever may be offered in this county.  There are some things I miss about Utah.  But overall I am happy that I am no longer a resident of Salt Lake.  I really do like it here in Oregon.     

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Big City of Roseburg

          I don’t know what exactly freaks me out about driving in Roseburg.  The population is less than half of what I’m used to – but I’m also used to driving on a grid – and having streets that are numbered rather than all names.

          Oregon drivers (as a whole) seem a lot more courteous than Utah drivers – not that Salt Lake accounts for all Utah drivers.  But Salt Lake County makes up for over 1/3 of Utah’s population at  1,029,655. The entire Douglas County has a population of 107,667 with Roseburg population at only 21,181 but still the largest city in the county with the next largest city coming in at 7,810  and then Myrtle Creek at less than half of that – and the numbers go down from there.

          Overall, the state of Oregon has a higher population than does the state of Utah; Oregon residence are just more spread-out throughout the state making their largest counties from 300 – 800 thousand people and most of their smaller counties with still a higher population than the average Utah county (the largest after Salt Lake has less than 600,000 and goes down from there)

Oregon is a very large forest dotted with cities.  Except for the Portland area, it seems you have to drive through a huge amount of forest before the next city.  In Salt Lake it is often not known when you have passed one city and entered another as there doesn’t seem to be a break between them. That's always nice when either your car or stomach are acting up - unlike the county where we currently live.  Can't say the same for the entire state of Utah - as there seem to be a lot more rural cities than what we've found in Oregon.

We’ve been to Grants Pass and Eugene – both in other counties – both much larger than Roseburg.  In fact, Eugene is the second largest city next to Portland, with Oregon’s state capitol, Salem, coming in 3rdRoland is usually always behind the wheel.  I've driven to Canyonville by myself - but I still don't like getting on the freeway - even though I5 has a dense population of cars (at least in Douglas county) as opposed to I15 (the Salt Lake to Provo commute) and one doesn't have to wait in line just to get on the ramp or merge at the speed of light. 

The speed limit posted is 65 except for Semi trucks which is posted at 55.  Often I just stay in the lane with the trucks - except for when they are really slow and have their blinkers on and are  moving in the shoulder lane.  The highways are steep.  They go up and down and wind all over the place.  Our car is even less used to it than I am.  And pulling over too far on the shoulder makes for an unpleasant drop.  I don't understand why there are so few guard rails. 

Some Oregon drivers are ruthless - like tonight.  We were returning from Roseburg when all these cars passed us as though we were standing still - and it was Roland behind the wheel - not me.  Usually we do not see that many cars wiz by.  But the county fair is on - we don't know how far they may have traveled to get to Roseburg in the first place - or how far they have to travel to get to work. 

The big city of Roseburg is not actually all that big.  I just refer to it as such because of the rural area where we are currently living.  It's a 17 - 21 minute drive from where we live.  It is where we go to do major shopping, visit the hospital, attend the cinema, stuff like that. Somebody had told us that Grants Pass was about the same distance and a better drive.  It wasn't.

It took twice the amount of time to get  to Grants Pass as to Roseburg - and though it didn't seem quite as steep, it was definitely a lot more smokey the particular day we chose to go.  I had a massive headache - but I can't complain.  There are firefighters among others who are much closer to the elements than I.

Grants Pass pride in the bears.  Local artists create bears to be displayed along the streets for the summer.  We were told that by the end of summer the bears are auctioned off and new creations are made with each summer.  I know we didn't see all that are found on Google.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Beautiful

Jenna does NOT deal with change well.  She is horrible at it.  Horrible.  I don’t even remember what it was she was complaining about last night.  I told her that whatever we do, wherever we live, no matter what, there are going to be some things that we like about our current situation and some things that we don’t. 

I told her to write a list of pros and cons with living in West Valley and with living in Myrtle Creek.  I didn’t suggest for her to include Kearns – after all she was only five when we had moved. There was probably more drama about that move than there was with this last one.

After reviewing her lists, I decided to make some lists of my own.  Thus for this post, I have decided to share each list that was created (or started at least)

Jenna’s pro list for living in West Valley

1)           school friends
2)           church friends
3)           good principal (Mrs. Randolf is truly amazing)
4)           FAMILY
5)           More time with dad (they had actually eaten breakfast together)

Jenna’s con list for living in West Valley

1)           a certain individual from school
2)           church friends live in apartments

Jenna’s pro list for living in Myrtle Creek

1)           same answer as number one on last list
2)           swim lessons (pool in general)
3)           friends made
4)           a library
5)           a bike
6)           good people
7)           Netflix

 Jenna’s Con list for living in Myrtle Creek

1)              mom forced me to be in band before school even started
2)             have to practice the clarinet
3)             missing friends from West Valley
4)             Barely anything to do (EVERYTHING IS IN ROSEBURG)
5)             Missing family
6)             Less time with dad [who’s still working according to mountain time and eats breakfast at his desk or long before Jenna gets out of bed]

My pro list for living in West Valley

1)           public transportation
2)           conveniences (driving locations)
3)           playing games with family members
4)           dual immersion

My con list for living in West Valley

1)           dry air
2)           traffic
3)           construction
4)           small house
5)           no sidewalks

My pro list for living in Myrtle Creek

1)           I can more easily breathe
2)           Low crime
3)           Best house
4)           Strong ward
5)           Opportunities that Jenna will have in this school as opposed to Salt Lake (such as low income rental on instrument and swim lessons that didn’t get cancelled due to a lack of numbers)
6)           Overall friendliness of people
7)           Low key traffic
8)           New Friendships

            9)         that Roland was able to bring his job with us

My con list for Myrtle Creek

1)           windy roads without guard rails
2)           family members live so far away
3)           outrageous water bills
4)           lack of public transportation
5)           library hours
6)           variety