Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Clipping Coupons and Providing Family

My brother just recently shared this post on his facebook page:


When Mom was 13 her parents divorced. When she was 16 her mom remarried. Both of these events were very difficult for Mom for reasons I won't go into here.

In this entry of 1982 she says the following:

"It was also during my teens that I made some vows: 1) I would never raise my children in an apartment 2) With all my heart I would do everything to avoid a divorce 3) I would do my best to be home with my children 4) I would try not to lay guilt on my children 5) My children would be involved in family councils in which they could present their ideas."

Check, check, check, check, and check, Mom. Well done!

I remember mom clipping coupons from the back of the carton of Highland Milk.  Even on a budget, those coupons provided us opportunity for going to the zoo, amusement parks, and so forth.  Mom and dad held strong family ties and taught us values – though we didn’t know it at the time.







Shortly after my brother, Corey, was born, our monthly bills seemed to outweigh dad’s income.  Apparently he and mom discussed his taking on a second job – fearing that the long hours would become a strain to his health (not to mention that none of us would ever see much of him) mom decided that she would go back to work.  She decided she would find a job that would provide hours after my dad got home. 

Mom worked at the ice cream store longer than needed.  When a manager was needed, she volunteered as she was not thrilled with the idea of other candidates being her manager.  What started out as a necessity eventually became extra income for the family.  I believe she was there until the store closed.  

Mom took on other forms of employment after daddy died.  By then Patrick was married and out of the house.  Corey would come and go with education and employment.  She took on day hours when we were each old enough to care for ourselves.


I appreciate both dad and mom’s strength and sacrifices.  My sibs and I are truly blessed.

Friday, January 31, 2014

And Just Where Are Our Priorities?




I watched two different news stations lead with the story of the demolition and transformation taking place at Fashion Place Mall.  That was their lead story, I kid you not.  Both stations.  The second story on one of the stations (but further down the line of the other) featured budgeting for the homeless – what can we do for them?  Hey, here’s an idea: take the money that is being spent for the super Dillards and provide those many homeless with jobs – or build a place that the “homeless” might be able to afford.  It chaps my hyde when so much money is spent for unimportant matters.  




Oh, I suppose for Dillards executives, the number one story was great news to their ears.  What awesome publicity.  And I suppose there are some shoppers who will be equally excited.  As I have previously mentioned, I hate malls.  I hate commercialism.  I hate the chaos and materialism.  How great it would be if we could all provide for ourselves without interference from taxes or collection agencies or watching people struggle while so many others go about buying the latest “toy” and passing their old kindlefires down to their children with more promises of better things to come.  Because, hey, technology is constantly changing and so that computer you purchased two years ago?  It’s quite outdated buddy.



Ever watch a movie from the 1980s in which the characters use cell phones or computers?  Laughable by today’s standards.  But the toys that were made 50 years ago were made so much better than the garbage sold today.  Toys from the 60’s were made to last.  Kayla and Corey played with the same toys that Patrick and I had.  And so did Patrick’s kids and my Jenna.  And probably my granddaughter would be too – if we hadn’t had to sell mom’s house and get rid of all the possessions it contained. 




Today’s toys don’t even make it to next year – let alone decades from now.  As a whole they don’t seem near as entertaining or educational.



Remakes are lame.  Take “operation” for instance.  


 The Operation game back then was a lot more challenging that today’s lame excuse of what used to be fun.  And why did they have to change the name and shape of the bones? Neither Jenna nor I get the names for today.  And I don’t think even my (almost) four year old niece would be challenged with removing the plastic piece without hitting the buzzer.  It is quite disappointing to say the least.


I am sickened by all the spending that is done by the government . . . making mistakes and then trying to fix them by forking out even more money?  Come on.  My opinion is that almost all of us need to save up and stop spending.  Stop investing in things and start investing in humanity.  Bring back a wholesomeness that is so desperately needed.  Bring back the prices and the quality that we had before.  When it was possible to live without lap tops and cell phones.  When entertainment was entertaining and didn’t require wires or monthly bills. When we enjoyed one another’s company and could actually communicate face to face and weren’t surgically implanted to devices that have replaced personalism.

Jenna asked me the other day, “Mom, will I-pads and stuff replace books completely?”
All I could say to her was, “I hope not.”

 

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Look What I Made!

Jenna’s favorite princess, without a doubt, is Brave’s Merida.  Each November first she has announced what her costume will be for Halloween for the following year and each year she changes her mind – though there seem to be fewer changes. 



I know better than to plan her costume before October – although with the last two years she has only changed her mind two or three times compared to the initial eight (life was just so much easier when I was the one picking out costumes for her)



In November of 2010 she announced that she would be Big Baby from Toy Story 3.  Really?  After nine months I decided that maybe she really was going to go through with it and started looking for something she could use – though having my then seven year old running around the neighborhood in a dirty onesie did not thill me nor did I have a clue how to do her eyes so that she could still use both of hers in order to see.



.  I was grateful when she finally changed her mind and decided she would be Juliet from Gnomeo and Juliette. 



A red dress and white apron from Savers.  I really thought I would find something I could use.  But fortunately she wanted to change it again – this time to Tiger Lily.



Oh, Joy of joys!  I could do an Indian costume for really cheap!  I used two paper bags that I got from Winco and cut the fringe and allowed her to do the decorating.  She thought it the coolest costume ever!



Last year she decided to do something different.  For ten months she sounded serious about going as a teapot.  I had called Joh to get his expertise opinion on how I should do it.  He came up with a great idea.  But she changed her mind again.  She would be Velma from Scooby Doo. 



            I thought it would be less expensive and perhaps better made to purchase items from Savers – though Roland seemed gung-ho about purchaseing a costume from the Halloween store.  I don’t think it was worth the purchase.  The good news is that she can wear it again (at least for the time being)



            But this year she would like to be Merida.  The dress is from Savers, but I made the wig.  My initial thought was to make it out of about 6-8 boas – but I never got beyond the thought as the purchase for the boas themselves was over foty dollars – never mind that I had nothing to fasten the boas to.



I had purchased a pirate cap for a dollar.  I found Fun Fur  at Wal-Mart.  It was even the perfect color – unlike the boas I had found.  I wish I had thought to ask Joh if he would make time to make one, or if he had any suggestions for me – but I can honestly say that I did indeed make the wig all by myself adding one to three strands of hair at a time..  And it was for under ten dollars.



No, it is not true that I had done it all by myself..  Jenna occasionally helped to cut strands or thread the needle.    I think for the most part the work is pretty sloppy and the wig itself is obviously amature(as I really did have a hard time seeing what I was doing).  But Jenna is very excited about it.  And that is what counts.

I’ll push for another teapot again for next year.  Now that I have done the wig, perhaps I am ready for the teapot. I may miss another week or more of posting as I struggle to thread the needle and try to make it work.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Brain is Spilling Over




My head is so full that the words are spilling over and I can’t write or type them in as quickly as I think I’m thinking them. Not to mention that Jenna continues to interrupt my every thought.  School starts tomorrow!  I think much better when I am by myself.

There was too much I had wanted to respond to as I posted a comment to a blog I had read yesterday.  I certainly didn’t wish for my comment to be larger than the post itself and so tried to sum up everything that was going through my mind.  Didn’t work.  I did a copy paste and deleted my original comment and reposted a few paragraphs – though there still exists an epistle in my mind.

I am overwhelmed with ideas for post subjects (though not many titles) and I’ve been brainstorming and adding sentences and moving words around.  Thus far I have at least six different post ideas.  That doesn’t count the fifteen plus ideas that I already have in my files. 

So I have elaborated somewhat on my comment to Jake Abhau (which I won’t post on his blog but my own), but still nowhere complete. 

Just returned from a back-to-school night featuring “the Leader in Me”.  I was so proud of Jenna as she preformed the seven habits. (I have written absolutely nothing about this subject yet)

Another book review

Biff’s major personality adjustment

Analyzing the constant weeping of women (at least this one)

How awesome it is to step outside and pick a fresh tomato

And then there will be the events of whatever today brings.  Jenna’s last day of summer vacation. My head is spilling over.  I’m overwhelmed right now.

I just hope that I do actually go through with what’s in my mind and somehow get it sorted.  I remember Corey had created a post when his head was full and said he would like to create posts for various subjects.  Never happened.  I was so looking forward to reading his thoughts about Jenna’s baptism.  But it never got written.

I suppose I can always delete this.  Right now I seem to be posting this just for the sake of posting.  I’m not really saying anything . . . .

Monday, July 29, 2013

I’m Grateful for Diversity


In addition to celebrating the nations birthday in July, Utah also celebrates its roots with “Pioneer Day” or “the Days of ‘47”   On the 24th of July Salt Lake holds its annual two hour parade in addition to the youth parade that takes place the week prior. 

“The Days of ’47” parade is well attended.  There’s several people who will actually camp overnight in order to get the perfect parade watching spots.  I happen to believe that all of these people are crazy – yet at the same time I admire their enthusiasm.  The parade is truly an awesome moment for them and I’m grateful for the enthusiasm.  I really am.  I’m also grateful that the parade is televised and I am able to watch it in my air conditioned home. 

I am not a parade person – actually I am not a crowd person.  I could handle the parade in Afton, Wyoming just fine.  I don’t think the entire population of their small town matches the tremendous amount of people flooding the downtown streets of Salt Lake on the 24th.  I am actually a lot more comfortable with the peon parades that are less than an hour than with a band, another float, another horse, another . . .

But I’m not opposed to a two – three hour parade.  I just choose not to sit through it.  Especially in the blaring sun.  But that’s me.  That’s MY personality.  My sister-in-law, Sunny may have been one of those who camped out.  She LOVED the parade – probably still does – though I don’t think she gets downtown as often as she did when she was single.  My brother Patrick is less thrilled with the whole parade idea than I am – or at least he used to be.

I’m grateful for the diversity that makes us individuals. 

There is no paid ministry within the LDS Church.  Those who teach lessons or give talks are our peers from the same congregation.  We don’t sit in a meeting listening to the same speaker week after week.  There are a variety of speakers asked to speak on certain topics – often the same topic as the other assigned speakers.  And while Joe may speak with vigor and vibrancy, Eric’s talk may be more subtle – or he may just read with no eye contact whatsoever.  And maybe Eric is the only one who will actually get something out of his talk.  But Eric has reached someone that perhaps Joe cannot.

Veronica may type all the quotes from her lesson to pass out to class members to guarantee participation while Dorothy just stumbles through her lesson and gets nervous about the amount of participation.  Jade may do her lesson completely different from the other two and belt out the lesson without the microphone but have most of the sisters willing to eat her words.

I remember two neighbors who had come to visit my mom once a month.  Jody was by the book: “this is the lesson, this is the outline, and this is the message that God wants us to learn.”  Peggy seemed to “scan” the book.  She would give her one or two line lesson from the title.  Oh, she’d elaborate if more was wanted or needed – but her theory was: “you’ve had this lesson, you’ve given this lesson, and you know this lesson.  Here is a quick reminder”

It’s a good thing really.  Not everybody relates to all people.  Not everybody absorbs the message the first time or the second time.  Perhaps not even the fifth time.  And then there’s those of us who may think, “Yea, yea.  I ‘vet heard this message over a thousand times.  I’ve got it.” But do we really have one’s perspective or “take” on it?  And sometimes there are individuals that will say the words that we’ve already heard, but suddenly it takes on new meaning.  It suddenly makes more sense.  We may experience an “aha” moment – and it’s not because the message itself or even the words are new.  It has been presented in a different light.  A situation was given in which we can identify or appreciate. 

I remember my own mother practicing her lessons over and over again.  There are many times I know she felt inadequate about whatever calling she happened to have.  I know she wasn’t always pleased with her lessons.  She was constantly comparing herself to others who had been in her position.  I don’t think she understood the diversity is needed until after she’d given one lesson in particular

Lily had been inactive for years.  She returned on a day that my mom was the instructor.  Mom kept things simple according to her own understanding.  Lily thanked her for her lesson.  Mom was taken aback.  Her lessons weren’t anywhere near as powerful as when Peggy would present them.  But it was mom’s simpleness and delivery that Lily needed.  Peggy’s flowery words or method of presentation always seemed over Lily’s head.  It’s true that Peggy may have reached more sisters than my mom – but there were some people who actually weren’t comfortable with Peggy’s deliverance.  Diversity is needed in teaching because we are made up of a huge amount of diverse personalities.

Our current bishop is very soft spoken.  He really does put a tremendous amount of thought into his talks and his words are of importance – but I don’t think his delivery always settles well with the entire congregation – especially if he is the last speaker of the meeting.  My husband, on the other hand, can wake up the congregation.  Most people like his enthusiasm and deliverance – but not everybody does.  What one may have gotten out of the bishop’s talk may be missed in my husbands or vice-versa.

And then there are some people who are blessed and talented enough to learn from all talks and lessons.  They don’t fall asleep.  They don’t get bored. They are in tune with the Spirit (I fully admit that often I am not in tune) and then there are those of us that get much more out of the talk or lesson if we are entertained by deliverance (or at least not bored by it)
We all need the opportunity of presenting His message – even if it’s only for ourselves.  Perhaps the individual that I need to reach is myself – and if someone else should make discoveries while I am talking or teaching – great. We need diversity.  And just as with the parade – not every speaker or instructor is going to appeal to me – that doesn’t mean I can’t learn.  I appreciate the diversity.  I really do.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I think Ben Franklin would approve


As I have previously mentioned here and here, mom and Corey both have collected tons and tons of books over the years. Before we sold mom’s house, Corey and I took very few books to add to our own collections.  But the majority were boxed up for the uneventful yard sale (at least that’s how it appeared) and donated to charity.

Most Americans in the 1730s had limited access to books. Books in early America were rare and expensive.  Only the wealthy and clergy had access to several books.  There were no public libraries.  

In July 1731 Benjamin Franklin introduced his idea of borrowing books to a group of members. 50 subscribers invested 40 shillings each to start a library.  They committed to continue investing 10 schillings a year for the purchase of additional books and maintaining the upkeep of the building that would house the books which were donated.  Thus the library was born  

            I remember card catalogues and check out pockets and rubber stamps and a more reverent atmosphere than many libraries seem to have today.  An ancient librarian always went around with a finger pressed to her pursed lips telling us to “shhh” if our whispers were too loud.



Today it seems that the idea of owning a set of Encyclopedias is out of date.  Do people still buy them?: Or have we become so dependant on the computer that we can go to Wikipedia or Google and research more than the few paragraphs offered in what was once a very brilliant development.  




We now have Kindle fire, I Pads, the Nook . . . free sites, paid sites, downloads . . . slowly modern technology seems to be replacing books.  APPEARS to be – don’t imagine it could ever replace picture books – the joy of reading to a child . . . but you never know.  Post offices don’t have near as much going out in the way of letters – ever since email . . . . or so it seems.  The blue mailbox doesn’t seem as plentiful as when I was younger.

There are still schools that use books for reading and teaching – not everyone has access to a computer or a hand held device that requires WI FY and we’ve become so dependent on modern technology providing the answers right at our finger tips it may make one wonder if some point in time that  books will totally be replaced by modern technology.

And I look at our founder, Benjamin Franklin, who would probably glow at the very idea of holding a tablet in his hand and looking up references and reading pages and smile and say it is genius (or whatever word they used back in 1730) I think he would greatly approve of this modern technology.  I hope they don’t take away from the library.  I hope the library (and books) may be enjoyed by many generations yet to come.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Button Bracelets and Broken Earrings



          Ellen found my mom passed out.  (This was last month - when mom was still in her house and not in assisted living) Her jewelry holder was on top of her.  Not good memories for Ellen – who doesn’t wear jewelry anyway.  I don’t wear much (jewelry) – certainly not enough for the wonderful piece of furniture I remember mom purchasing many years ago.  I don’t think I would have even thought about it one way or the other, but it had been moved into the same room where most of the photographs were.  I made a request to have it.



          Roland brought it in the house and started to put it our room. 

          “I got that for Jenna,” I said.

          He’s ordered her to take really good care of it because it’s an heirloom.  That cracked me up.  I had never thought of it in that way before.  An heirloom is something that has been handed down for several generations.  And I suppose if Jenna takes care of it, it could become an heirloom – but I don’t think of it that way now.

          Of course the unit itself is probably a lot nicer than most of the jewelry it houses – if not all of it.  Jenna has always loved to make and wear jewelry.  We made button bracelets with the residents (well some) where my mom lives. Jenna made one for herself and I made one for mom.



          She did end up with maybe half to a quarter of jewelry that was left behind by either my mom or either grandmother.  Ellen brought another huge box into the room.  Fortunately Jenna didn’t notice or I’m certain we would have walked away with more.

          The jewelry reminds me of those worn by children when playing dress-ups.  Or something to be collected and ripped apart for making something else – which is maybe what they all were at one time. 



          Some of it is ugly.  I guess it could have been considered stylish for its time – what time?  Long before I existed, I would think.  Jenna feels so grown up with her dangling earrings – disappointed that the really cute ones are all twist-ons that pinch her ears.  But she can wear the clips.  She wore a pair to church and has taken a pair to school today.  Jenna’s enthusiasm makes it all worth it really. 

          I wish mom’s jewelry was worth something.  Most of the pieces seem to be plastic or falling apart.  Jenna broke one of the earrings yesterday – I’m certain it was due to years of decay more than on her part.  But there were tears in her eyes.

          “Oh, it’s okay, honey.  We can try and fix it.  Or we can break the other one and make barrettes out of them.”

          Tears dried up.  All the sudden the pair of earrings had become quite valuable.  
“We could make barrettes with just this part,” she said as she pointed to the fan part that clipped over the ear.  Pointing to the imitation pearl teardrop she continued, “And I can use this part to make a necklace!”

Okay.

For me the jewelry does not represent mom.  The only pieces I truly remember came from one of my grandma’s.  I don’t recall mom ever wearing most of it.  Maybe two or three pieces out of – how many?  I might be able to ask Jenna.  She probably counted them when she initially had her eye on them.

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If I can find any joy or peace of mind with all the devastation and turmoil that has been felt these past four months or so, this would be it.  Jenna’s joy and gratitude.  It means a lot to find that pot at the end of the rainbow . . . or even just the rainbow itself.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jenna's Gumdrop Tree



          Jenna had made a gumdrop ornament in preschool one year.  We’ve had it for four or five Christmases now.  The neighbor asked if he could eat it.
          “The candy is really old.  It probably doesn’t taste good.  And it may make you sick either way.”

          He had invited himself to decorate or tree.  I thought that was presumptuous of him.  But it was dark.  I couldn’t see well.  Roland had gone into the other room.  And so I left Jenna and Trume to decorate (they actually were better at spreading out the ornaments than Ooki had been with his first tree).

          Before he returned home, I gave him a small tree that we had put in Jenna’s room last year.            I had confiscated the gumdrop ball and put it on the tree the next day when I could actually see what I was doing.

          After a week I noticed that the small tree had been returned.  I also noticed the gumdrop ball had been ripped apart as there were gumdrops and toothpicks all over the table.  I was upset not because of the ornament itself, but the possibility that someone had eaten these stale gumdrops.  Jenna claims she doesn’t even like spice gumdrops.  Why would she do that?



          I didn’t realize that the gumdrops had been used to decorate the smaller tree.  And actually they do look nice – but they don’t seem to stay.   It was a cute idea.  She said they looked like Christmas lights.  Her creativity made me smile.
We no longer have the gumdrop ball ornament.  After Christmas, the pulled off gumdrops will also be trashed.