Monday, August 22, 2016

Two Paragraphs plus

        For our last assignment in English, we are supposed to write two paragraphs to express "I believe in . . ." fill in the blank. As always, my mind jumped from subject to subject. Though it wasn't my first thought, I did consider ". . . laughter being the best medicine" which changed to " . . . power in literature''  (although that seems it would be tough to do in just two paragraphs) to ". . . saving the libraries in Douglas County" which is the assignment I ended up turning in. Meanwhile my brainstorming has caused other triggers, thus this blog post will include a lot more than just my two paragraphs (plus my writing may not reflect all those same rules)

        I will also refer reader to other posts which I have written - but don't worry.  I will not give all 66 posts in which library is mentioned. They are referenced if you may be interested in reading further or if you've been a follower all along, you may already remember.  So don't click on underlined references unless you are truly interested.  So with no further ado, let me take you on a "Library Journey"

        My earliest recollection of going to the library was Ruth Vine Tyler Library located in Midvale, Utah.  It was in the days before CDs, DVDs and computers.  I think the library offered LP records to be checked out - though I don't believe anyone in my family ever checked out  the LPs.  Granted, my dad had quite a large record collection - possibly even larger than the library.  My brother Patrick and I also had a huge collection of children's records, so probably did not use the audio sources that were provided through the library.

        I do know that in addition to books, prints and pictures were among the items that could be checked out. I don't remember having checked out the pictures personally, though I do recall mom mentioning a neighbor down the street checking out pictures and hanging them on her wall for three weeks at a time.  Among those she had checked out were prints of  "Pinkie" by Thomas Lawrence and "The Blue Boy" by Thomas Gainsborough. I had remembered seeing them available.


        Ruth Vine Tyler is currently one of eighteen libraries in the Salt Lake County Library System.  I haven't taken the time to figure out which ones existed during my childhood.  I remember Whitmore Library having been built in 1977.  I think it was the largest of the county libraries at that time.  Largest I had been to anyway.


        It wasn't until after I was married that I really began to explore several of the other libraries.  At present I have been to only half at one time or another.  Our first house was located in Kearns and we would walk to the library on occasion.  Kearns Library always seemed to offer fun activities; it was definitely the noisiest library I had ever been in.


        Even after we had moved to West Valley, I would often visit the Kearns Library.  I wasn't as impressed with the West Valley branch - at least not in the beginning.  After a while, I came to enjoy going to the library in West Valley, as we could commute there by train.  It was through West Valley Library when Jenna and I were introduced to the mother/daughter reading group mentioned here

        Thus the three libraries I had visited the most often were Ruth Tyler, Kearns and West Valley - though Jenna and I found ourselves frequently visiting the Calvin Smith when Roland was working for an agency in a nearby location.  All of the other libraries I had gone to were mostly just because I happened to be in the area. We really didn't have to travel from library to library.  If, for example, the Herriman library carried a book that I was interested in reading, but not interested in driving all the way to Herriman, I could place an order to pick up the book at the library of my choice.  I thought that such a cool feature 

        I have always been grateful for libraries, but at the same time I may have taken the them for granted. I certainly took the hours for granted.  All libraries were open 60 hours a week.  Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm.  Our move to Oregon changed that.  Oh, the library hours in Salt Lake are the same, but only 20 - 25 hours a week for libraries in Douglas County (see here) I'm happy that Douglas County offers some similar services as Salt Lake as mentioned above or in this post on the library system (Douglas actually works the same way; but far less paid positions than in SLC - many positions in this county are operated through volunteers) 

        The libraries of Douglas County are no in jeopardy of being closed.  We have an opportunity of putting voting to keep the libraries open by accepting an increase in our taxes.  I attended a meeting at the end of May and heard one librarian compare our libraries to being on life support.  On November 8th we have the option of pulling the plug or keeping the doors open. 

        I believe in supporting the library system of Douglas County, which is why I'm voting "yes" on November 8th.  I would encourage all registered voters of Douglas County to do the same thing. It is important to realize the library provides great resources such as borrowing books and DVDs; there are also computers available to use.  Although it is true that not everyone in Douglas County uses or even feels they have a need for the library, let me list some reasons why everyone should vote to keep the libraries open.

        To demonstrate some of the reasons for keeping the libraries open, let me share a few examples. For instance, I know some mothers who like to bring their young children in for story time. As a result, it gives the little ones an opportunity to explore through their minds. Additionally, I know even more people who go to the library to use the computers and Wi-Fi, as they don't have personal access.  Furthermore, I personally like to go for the variety of books.  I think it is great to have the opportunity of borrowing a book and being able to return it for someone else to enjoy.  Again, these are just some of the reasons for keeping our libraries open.  These are some of the reasons why I'll be voting "yes".

        We need to get the word out.  I'm doing everything I can on facebook, but as I only know a handful of people, it's definitely going to take just more than my contribution.  I hope anyone reading this may pass it on to others who live in this county and help us save our libraries.  Thank you.

        For more reading on the history of libraries, see here, here and here

Friday, August 19, 2016

I can't believe I got an A in Philosophy

            The online school that I attend allows four weeks for each course.  I didn't think my mind would be able to process the information in such a short amount of time.  Thus far I am actually doing quite well.  Who would have thunk? (last word I picked up from Dr. Seuss)

The  four week period is called a mod, short for mosule.  I don't know how many mods I will end up with but I will have 62 classes which will equal 181 credits.  I will be done sometime in 2019. To quote from the last paragraph from this post, " Should I continue with all of my courses and don't use it any of it career wise, I realize what I have learned thus far has made me a better person whether I flourish in the workplace or continue to stay at home." 

            So I started at the end of June.  I had two classes: Computer Fundamental and Psychology of Motivation.  Loved the computer class.  Seemed a bit confused with psychology.  Just couldn't seem to communicate with my instructor - or the school.  I suppose I did get positive feedback on my assignments - but thus far seems to have been the only instructor to actually to make comments in the assignment itself;  all have made comments on the assignment but not in the assignment.

            At times I felt the instructor seemed more focused on context than content and my crash course week that covered APA didn't really do it for me.  She kept on sending me a link to a website that wasn't helpful to me personally.  I get more with hands on demonstration and explaining it as it's being demonstrated - not by reading it and trying to figure out myself.  It didn't work.  I didn't (still do not) get it.  

            This mod I had a philosophy class called Introduction to Logic. Philosophy has its place.  It's somewhat interesting, but I really don't like being graded on philosophy.  I really wasn't excited about having to take the course  I cringed when, during the first lecture, my instructor when she announced she "Loves philosophy . . . it's her passion."
            Because she has such a passion for it and I don't, I didn't think I would do well.  Happy to say I was wrong.  I have grown tremendously.  I can't believe how far I've gone - and actually having made a connection with both her and the instructor I had for a non-credited English class which I took.

            Next week I'll be starting English Composition.  I have already heard from my instructor.  It's been different this week than my first week.  The canvas (sort of an electronic classroom) closes on Sunday.  I hadn't received my final grades the first time it closed.  I could not view them until canvas reopened.  This mod I have my grades for both classes and there are still two days left.

            My final project for philosophy was a power point, which I really struggled with.  I hadn't been satisfied with what I had turned in and had decided just to start from scratch.  I had worked on it for about four hours, I guess.  I should have checked my email four hours earlier and could have spared  myself as the power point I had turned in had already been graded and I did not need to turn it in again.  I had succeeded in doing it right.

            Thus far I am receiving straight A's.  I don't say that to boast.  I was never a great student before, and so I am still in awe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thank you for Sharing!

Love this video.  So uplifting.  Thank you, Matt Harding.  Thank you for sharing your passion.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Body in the Trunk - and Missing Mom

                I had quite a few challenges ahead of me the year that I started my blog.  I don't recall what happened to our car, but there was some kind of accident that effected the trunk. We made do with a temporary repair job until we had the finances to get a better fix.  Thus whenever we would drive (particularly over bumps) there would be this rattling noise that made it sound as though there were something heavy being thrown around.  It was the car I drove and therefore just dealt with the distraction mainly by ignoring it.

                My mom happened to be a passenger one particular day in October.  She asked me about the sound and I joked that it sounded like a dead body in my trunk.  By then mom's memory was really going downhill.  Though both of my brothers were in denial about mom having been that far gone, both Kayla and I had agreed that we needed to either bring somebody in to be a full time companion or else consider assisted living - which I had already started looking into - which is when I learned that my brothers didn't want to accept that.

                Though mom seemed to have blocked out everything else that day, she somehow remembered my comment about the dead body!  I think she accepted as a joke at first, but after her third comment, I began to wonder.  (You can find my original post and conversation here) I have no first-hand account of being in a car in which a body is in the trunk, but I have seen many comical situations in which a dead body seemingly causes a lot of noise as it's being rolled around in said trunk.

                A new family has moved into our ward.  It was announced in priesthood that the family would need assistance moving in.  Roland loaded the hand cart into the car in order to help.  The hand truck doesn't fit into our car all the way.  He had it sticking out of the trunk and held the door down with bungee cord.  I laughed as we drove to the house.  The sound was similar to the one in which I had made the "dead body" comment.  I don't know why Roland hadn't heard it before.  Jenna pretty much has the entire story memorized.       

                I miss my mom a lot.  I miss her laugh.  The way she talked.  I miss her smile.

                Her house was central point for get-togethers. Patrick and Sunny lived about 10 miles south, Kayla about 10 miles west, and Roland and I were about 10 miles north. Corey and I had an awfully hard time letting go of the house.

                Mom enjoyed playing games. For me it was Scrabble or Upwords - mostly upwards.  She played cribbage and other card games with Patrick.  For Corey, it was Trivial Pursuit.  And with Kayla, they did Jumbles and sometimes crosswords. We tried playing games with her after her memory was gone.  It was more challenging for us just to have to explain the rules each time.  We didn't bother keeping score anymore.  There wasn't any point.  It was hard to see our "game rival" disappear. 

                I'm looking forward to the day that I will see both of my parents again.  I'm hoping we'll be able to play games again.    

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Works In Mysterious Ways

            At the end of last month (July 29) I mentioned that I decided to go back to school online.  Thus far I have taken four classes.  Two I've completed and I will have finished two more by the end of next week.
            Currently I am taking an English Refinement class and a Philosophy Class called the Introduction to Logic.  My instructor LOVES philosophy.  I do not.  Fortunately it hasn't been as huge a challenge as I had predicted. I've actually gained a repoire with my instructor and have been flattered by her feedback.

            On the last day of July I posted the first assignment I had turned in for that class.  I shared it mainly for those that may be required to take the class also in hopes that my viewpoint may assist their understanding in the same way my brother and instructor helped me.

            My last assignment was on  Emotion and the Workplace.  We had an option of answering questions from one of two videos and give our opinions on the benefits of technology - and why we may or may not agree with the ideas conveyed.  My instructor said she really liked my essay for last week. 


          This week has been a bit tougher for me. The topic is fallacy reasoning.  I have turned in my assignment but do not feel as confident about my essay as the one from last week.  One of my introductory lines is that "I feel like a walking fallacy just waiting to happen" which may not be grammatically correct, but will probably make my instructor laugh.


          So far only one of my classes could actually be applied to my major.  Two of my classes have been on self-awareness - helping me define how to get along with others - not only in the work place but with life in general. Should I continue with all of my courses and don't use it any of it career wise, I realize what I have learned thus far has made me a better person whether I flourish in the workplace or continue to stay at home. I am grateful for the things I've learned thus far and pray that I may continue to thrive.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How's The Weather?

          We've been told that Oregon's hottest month takes place in August.  Thus far I have not noticed a drastic difference with the weather here as I had in Salt Lake.  We moved in at the beginning of summer last year.  Oregon was going through a drought.  The entire summer was ALWAYS HOT.  Fire temperatures were extreme.  Grass was brown and dry.  We were told that would make for a hard winter.

          By Utah standards, the "cold" winter of Oregon (west of I5) last year was really mild.  It was our first winter in Oregon, so again, we don't actually know any better.  We got snow.  We're told that snow is rare.  Perhaps we'll have a more accurate experience this year.

          Thus far, the hottest days (in my mind) were July 28 - 30 - the three days that Myrtle Creek had their summer fest activity.  The temperatures had cooled down by June 31 but got hot again on August 1st - which was a week ago last Monday.  I take a water aerobics class in the morning.  The temperature in the water does not mirror the temperature of the air.  It is usually the opposite.

          Even though the sun shone last week, the water was cold.  Didn't seem that anyone in the class was able to warm up.  The air on Tuesday morning was cool.  The clouds blocked the sun and it appeared that it might rain.  I went to class believing the pool would be warmer than the day before.  It was.  Nice and relaxing.  It felt so great - like bath water.  It was hard to get out of the pool and back into the frigid air - which really was not all that chilly except to one who is wet.

          The last two mornings have been overcast and cool.  The lifeguards have had sweatshirts on over their suits.  The pool has been really nice.  Gradually the air will warm up during class or just right after.  Today it took a while for the weather to make up its mind as clouds would pass between the earth and the sun - blocking the rays from shining down.  I actually preferred that to the rays blasting in my face and on my skin like flames licking at me.

          Ever since we moved to Tri-City, it seems I have been doing laundry more often.  Instead of doing four loads once a week, it seems to be spread out into 12 - 16 loads.  I have washed whites, colors, whites, towels, whites, dark load,  white, bed sheets/towels, whites, whites . . .
I expect that to die down back to four within the next few months.  Soon I will have to depend solely on the dryer as I won't be able to hang my laundry outside anymore.  And the pale brown grass will become green again.

          It is 10 - 20 cooler in Oregon than it is in Salt Lake.  I suspect that in the winter, it will be 20 - 30 degrees warmer than in Salt Lake.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I'm Guessing That an Elephant was Involved . . .

                What is it with people saying, "Guess what"?  When I said/asked it to my parents, did I really expect them to guess? Does anybody?  Whenever Jenna has approached me with "Guess what?", I have given often given her an outrageous answer that she actually seems to enjoy, and it has become a game for us.

                "Guess what?"
                "You woke up to find an elephant in your bed this morning."

                "Guess what?"

                "An elephant was reported to be charging the halls in your school today."

                So now in turn, when she is approached by a friend or acquaintance,  friend will ask "Guess what?" and Jaime will provide such outlandish "guesses" that's it's a wonder that she is still approached with  "guess what". Only instead of elephants her "guesses" often involve aliens and a  LOT of detail leading toward the moment"

                "Guess what?"

                "You were on the way to Mr. H's class because you missed your homework assignment.  As you were swiftly moving toward his classroom you slipped on a banana peel and crashed into the wall.  When you came to, you realized you had been abducted by aliens . . . "

                I think her responses have caught many of them off guard as they will continue to stare at her as though she's the alien and maybe they have been abducted.  What were we talking about?  Oh, yeah. 


                "Oh, well. I give up.  What is it you wanted me to guess?"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Vacation

        I did not post between the 17th and the 23rd of last month as my sister and family had come to stay with us for a week.  The boys enjoyed climbing the hill that is basically our entire backyard.  Uncle Roland had introduced Gary to the blackberry bush.  Each day he would climb the hill and grab a few berries and bring them back to the house.

        They arrived on Saturday night and went with us to church on Sunday.  Those who served in the nursery LOVED BJ and were hoping for his return the following week.  (Kayla and Bill do have beautiful children) 

My brother-in-law took this pic just over a year ago.

Gary and Anna were in the same primary class.  I sat with them during singing/sharing time.

        I briefly described our Monday.  Picked blueberries and separated cars.  Roland went with Bill who drove his car to Canyonville to purchase  a camera from a pawn shop before going to the Big City of Roseburg.  I drove our car. Kayla and I would have taken all four kids had we had the room for three car seats and Jenna in back, but as we did not, BJ got to tag along with Roland and Bill.  Anna and Gary each sit in boosters which are easier to move from one car to another than I imagine BJ's car seat is

not the exact car seats, but a more spacious illustration of back seat

        We went to a local park where they could swing and slide.  While Jenna played with her cousins, it gave Kayla and I an opportunity to visit

        We spent the next two days on the road with them.  Two cars.  Anna and Jenna were in our car and the boys were with Bill.  Neither Kayla nor I wanted to drive.  And I don't suspect either of our husbands wanted us to drive.  But I still wanted to visit with my sister while we drove.  The next best thing was to have each sister ride with the husband of the other.  I was in the car with Bill on the way to and home from Watson Falls and Coos Bay and Kayla rode with Roland. 

starting trail to Watson Falls

        We stopped off at a view area and took pictures of North Umpqua River before we got to Watson Falls.

        We took pictures on the boardwalk in Coos Bay and went to a street fair before driving to Sunset Bay State Park.  Anna enjoyed some chocolate covered bacon. She would not share with Bill.

        It was a task trying to get Anna to leave the beach.  She told her dad that "her heart was in the ocean and she had to find it".  Unbeknownst to Kayla and Bill, the keys to their car were locked inside.  Now, I don't mention this to embarrass them, but to continue the story of the "heart in the ocean"

        As Roland and Bill worked at trying to break into the car (each has car rescue service card - unfortunately we did not get reception at the beach) and as the kids were get anxious, Bill told Anna she could return to the water, but that when he called her she would have to come right away.
        When he called out to her the second time, she said it was okay to get out.  She had found her love and her heart and everything was okay.  I thought it was cute so thought I would share it.

from hd wallpaper

        As with most children, BJ warmed up to Roland right away.  Roland is a kid magnet.  I haven't known a child yet who doesn't love Roland.

        The boys liked Watson Falls.  The girls liked getting wet at the beach. The adults were tired of being in the car.  We stayed home for the next two days. The dads helped the kids make pizza 

          Afterward the whole gang (except Roland) went to the pool for a swim.  I had an invalid check and had to return home for another, but I wanted the rest of the family to get all that they could and asked the manager if they could go in while I ran home to get the check. 

        By the time I had returned with the check, there really wasn't enough time for me that it was even worth getting wet.  So I just took pictures.  It's nice to have Bill in some pictures than as he is often the one behind the camera.

        We learned that BJ loved going down the slide.  After a while he got bored just going on his bottom, however and thought it would be more fun going down on some other body part - which did not go over well with either Bill or Kayla or (I would guess) even the lifeguards   Time for BJ to enjoy having a nap.

        As we left to go to the dressing room, Kayla announced, "WE are not coming back here tomorrow.  At least BJ and me.  If Bill wants to bring the kids, he can.  But it will have to be without me."

        We learned that BJ's first was "Google" He is quite proud to say "Okay, Google" and rattle off something the rest of us are unable to detect but the phone always manages to find something.  While visiting with us, and the phone in his possession, Google told him about "pronouns" which I don't believe he even cared about, but he was quite pleased to have the phone talking to him.

                     Their last full day with us was on Friday.  I had planned on driving Kayla over to the pool as the group had left their unused pool toys behind. I started to back out of the driveway - forgetting that about another car being there.  I scraped the side of my car next to Bill's and asked Kayla if she could have him move it for me.  Kayla returned with the keys and BJ; she decided just to drive their car so that she could tell people that she had actually driven in Oregon.  We allowed BJ a few moments of pleasure as he played in the baby park. The rest of their time with us we we either played games or watched programs and visited.

        It was a short visit.  Jenna and I realized that there was more we had meant to do while they were here with us.  Jenna is now going through cousin withdrawal I think even worse than before they came.  I'd love to let her visit with them for another month.  It would be awesome if we could all three return for a visit.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Reminiscing July

            Last month was definitely the coolest July temperature wise) that I ever remember.  28, 29 and 30 were hot.  Yesterday was nice and cool, but extremely windy.  It is the second time I recall an Oregon wind knocking me into a coma. It could have been a combination of the wind and the allergy pill I had taken  to knock out the huge amount of smoke from the fireworks.

            The three hottest days were also the three days that were used for Myrtle Creek's celebration.  They have been doing this for 30 years now.  I believe they started the tradition on July 27 - or perhaps that's the day that Myrtle Creek was founded as a city.  But I don't know what year.  The celebration of summer festival takes place on the last weekend in July.

            I did not take as many pictures this year as I had last year.  Jenna had been quite bummed for having missed the fireworks on July 4 this year.  We said we'd take her to the festival this year to see the fireworks.  We went on Saturday.  We had Jenna's friend, Sierra, with us. The girls had fun.

            Roland and I spent the majority of the evening at the pavilion listening to music.  I really wanted to dance, but Roland did not.  Jenna and I would move our hands and feet to the music.  Just after we were asked to raise our hands during "shout" an old lady that had been up near the stage made her way back to where I had been sitting and held her hands out to me so that I would get up and dance with her.

            I went up front to dance with her - though I had a hard time keeping up.  She may have looked older, but she danced as if she was in her 20's.  I noticed Jenna and Sierra had followed me and Jenna reached down to pick up items as they dropped to the floor.  When the dance was over, the old woman escorted me back to the chair.  Roland asked me why I had danced with that "drunk" - and couldn't I smell the alcohol on her breath?  I have lost my sense of smell and hadn't realized that she was drunk, though it actually made sense.  I had fun regardless.

            Happy Birthday, Myrtle Creek.