Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Weather Consistency - so What else is New?

          It's been raining quite a bit this year - more than usual from what we understand.  More downpour and more frequent.  And yet the riverbed told a different story - as though it had been recently drained.  The last two times I checked, the water was fast and appeared to be near overflowing.

          Springtime came early last year.  Mid-February it seemed.  This year Spring just barely started.  It snowed on December 12, 2015 and again in January 2017.  We heard that snow in these parts is rare.  December 12th snow was gone on December 13.  This year the snow didn't stick around, but did snow more often.

           We've also experienced hail.  I have not used my winter boots since February, but have not returned them to the shed just in case.

          We moved in at the end of a drought.  It was always hot and smoky.  The fire meter was usually on extreme, sometimes high, but never lower - not until September anyway.  I did take a picture of the one in Myrtle Creek.  This is not it, but the faded needle mark is the same as shown in this photo:

          The ground, overall, has been too soggy to step on.  The lawn needs mowing, but it makes for wet grass and mud.  The hills are really green right now.  No matter what the weather, I seem to get hot between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.  What’s up with that?

          I know this post seems disjointed.  Sort of like the weather.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Decisions and Trade-Offs

        Thus far I am enjoying my economic class.  It is the study of human behavior as far as decision making goes.  There are "luxuries" that we give up when we trade what we have for other things we want or need. Although we may not view them as luxuries at the time, we may miss certain situations while we are grateful not to have others.

        Take our move from Salt Lake County, Utah to Douglas County, Oregon.  The major thing that drew us to Oregon was clean air quality vs. breathing deadly smog.  Myrtle Creek is certainly a lot smaller (population wise) than any city I had lived in within the Salt Lake City area.  There aren't as many roads or traffic or pollution.  The crime rate is definitely lower.  I'm not saying there isn't any crime here - it just doesn't seem as common.

        Take the other night, for example.  Jenna's school band was performing a concert.  Normally, the students set up during school hours and leave their instruments in the gym, but there had been an activity that day and as many of the students were in Eugene, the instruments had not been set up.

        As we were driving toward the school, Jenna asked Roland to stop by the band room first.  Unless someone's there, the band room is always locked - except that night.  Several students could be seen running from the school across the street and down to the band room to retrieve their instruments.  I like that this town seems to have so much trust and patriotism - I really do believe that the two work together.  NEVER in Salt Lake county would that happen.  But then again, I don't know of any schools in Salt Lake that are made of several relic buildings. . .

        There is definitely a lot more variety of entertainment or shopping (which is not entertaining by any means) in Salt Lake than in Myrtle Creek, better public transportation and a great library system.  I don't foresee the library ever disappearing from existence.  Here, in Myrtle Creek, we are fighting to put it back.  It's not that the citizens of Douglas county were against the library in the first place.  The bill didn't pass because most voters had voted against a tax increase.  I don't think they believed the library would close.

        Trade-offs from decisions.  I now need to return back to the text so that I can take the assessment for this week.  Look how hard I am working. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Reminiscing Easter


        My first Easter dress was yellow and had a fish on the collar.  I had put the dress in my hope chest several years later (I received the hope chest when I was twelve – it may have been at then?) and was able to use the same dress on Jenna at eight or nine months.  Before we moved to Oregon, I had given the dress to my pregnant daughter-in-law that had announced she’d be having a girl (as it turns out, all three of my sons have daughters only – at least thus far) and recently posted to my facebook cover a picture of Jenna, myself, and my granddaughter, Devin, wearing the same “fishy” dress. 


        I do remember bits and pieces of different Easters from my childhood. 

Patrick and me - 1970 perhaps

        I don’t know when I got or felt too old for the non-Christian Easter traditions.  I do remember mom had made Easter “baskets” for my brother Patrick and me.  There were two Clorox bottles designed to look like rabbits.  They held our Easter candy.

Clorox Easter Bunny
I remember receiving a purple duck for Easter from my grandma one years.  I remember watching home videos taken at my grandma’s house several Easters before that.  I remember Easter hats. I remember dying boiled eggs and searching for them as my parents had hid them the night before (usually in plain sight)

        I don’t remember any specific Easters with Corey or Kayla – though I’m sure I found more joy in watching them than “celebrating” Easter myself.  Somewhere along the way I discovered the true meaning of Easter does not really include eggs or jelly beans.
        Roland related a time about taking the boys to an Easter egg hunt when Randy and Tony were two and three.  Tony would pick up eggs and put them in his basket.  Randy followed close behind and would remove the eggs from Tony’s basket and place them into his own.  He said that Tony never even noticed.
Before Roland and I were married, Tony had asked if we could draw names and make baskets for each other.   A few years later I sent the boys on a treasure hunt with scripture related clues from plastic eggs.  I think they enjoyed it.
        Jenna was eight days old on her first Easter – the day she was supposed to be born.  I dressed her in a green onesie that had a small chick at the top and built in green skirt.  It was too big for her, but I thought it was cute for Easter.

        The day prior I had left Jenna with grandma as Pamprin and Francis had wanted to go to an Easter egg hunt at the Avery and we were allowed a two-four hour visitation so thought we’d take advantage.
        The year Jenna turned three, the young men and young woman created an Easter activity for the primary.  I took several pictures of several of the children hitting at the piƱata.

        I remember Roland hiding eggs in the backyard one year and sent her out to find them.  That was before we met Isaac and Paula and Biff and Paula would take Jenna with them on Easter and she would be gone all day.  There is at least one time she and Biff spent Saturday night with the family so that she would be there on Easter Sunday.

back yard in Kearns

at "grandpas" in Taylorsville


         Before Paula came into our lives, I do remember taking Jenna to an Easter egg hunt one year when Pamprin had stayed overnight. There are several places in Salt Lake that offer Easter egg hunts. I don’t know how we ended up at that particular location in West Valley as we were living in Kearns at the time.  Ironically, we were within walking distance of said location after we had moved to West Valley.
        On the Saturday before Easter, the stake in West Valley offered an activity for the primary – well, I guess families, but it felt like it had been geared more toward the primary. 

This is probably from the youth/primary activity mentioned above
I don't recall Biff and Tony going to stake activities in WV

        Jenna didn’t go on an egg hunt the year she turned eleven.  We had come to Oregon to check out the possibilities of moving to this state.  Easter was two days after her birthday.  We drove the coast and took lots of pictures.  It happened to be Easter day, but we didn’t celebrate the holiday on that particular day.

Tillamook Easter 2015

Pacific City Easter 2015
Newport Easter 2015

Dress was waiting for us when we got home.  Grandma Lucy had made it for her
but not quite accurate on measurements.  It was the only time she wore it.

        Last year Easter fell on Corey’s birthday.  We were still living at the rental, and Jenna had asked if we would hide eggs in the backyard, but it had been raining and so we hid the eggs inside.  They were not the dyed hard boiled eggs that my mom and dad had hid years before but rather plastic eggs with treasures inside; I tried “hiding” them in plain sight.     

Treasure Hunt 2017

        When we were living at the rental, our situation here was still new.  Jenna had more enthusiasm there than she has showed since we had moved to our current house.  The holidays are hard – mostly because she has a very bad case of Peter Pan syndrome and hasn’t accepted the fact that she’s growing up.  She’s not a child anymore.  She hasn’t accepted that she may be too old for Easter egg hunts and other treasures.  If we were in Salt Lake, she would be celebrating with either her cousins or her nieces and brothers. 

cracking eggs

        Overall she really does prefer this rural life compared to the crammed city life in Utah, but each holiday has been a bit harder for her than the last.  She misses family members so much – particularly Anna and Gary.

        She’s made friends at school, but children’s plans don’t always jive with parents plans.  She also has friends who have moved.  She might not admit it, but I think for the most part, outside of school and church activity, she is lonely. She had wanted to go to an activity on Saturday night, but Roland didn’t want to take her, and I can’t see to drive at night.

        The weather was nice on Saturday.  It really felt like a great day for holding outdoor activities.  We did get away from the house – but did not engage in any underage activities.  Yesterday was quite overcast.  There was a thunder shower just after 6:00 pm.  The sun made an appearance at 7:00. It was quite different than Saturday had been.

        Here are some more pictures in no order: 

about two

Breakfast on Saturday, Conference weekend, Jenna's birthday
took her Easter egg hunting on this day.  Next Easter 2010

about three

from Kiddie Kandids year she turned two

spending time with grandma

my mom's last Easter on earth

Easter in Woodbridge Virginia

Before Roland and I married.  Boys with their new cousin.
Don't Tony and Ellen look overjoyed?

Symbolisms and Parellels

I don’t know how old I was when I was introduced to the parallels between the ancient prophets and Jesus – and how there have been so many symbolisms throughout their life.  For example:

 Pharaoh's orders to slay the male children (Moses) and Herod’s orders to slay male children (Jesus)

Noah and his family in the ark for 40 days and nights as Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights 

Joseph’s brothers (Judah in particular) selling him to the Ismaelites for twenty pieces of silver as Judas Iscariot had betrayed “selling” Jesus for silver pieces.

Or Jonah having been inside a whale’s belly for 3 days before he was spit out or Jesus having been inside a tomb before the stone rolled away

As well as countless others.  As I searched for scriptural references, I found these three links (Moses, Joseph, Joseph Smith) that go into a lot more detail than what I have here. 

As the last speaker in our sacrament meeting yesterday related the account of Mary looking into an empty tomb and weeping, and checking it again to find two angels.  I thought of the story found in 1 Kings, particularly vs. 7 when Samuel asks a woman to prepare a meal for him and she tells him it is all that she has.  But as long as she continues to prepare his meal first and then return to fix meal for herself and her son.  I wonder if she looked on with the same surprise and awe as Mary may have when she found angels where her Savor was supposed to be.

Danny had prepared the lesson for primary.  She had decorated the room in plastic eggs – which excited Thomas to no end.  I just happened to be sitting next to him and did my best to try and control his excitement - and asked why we celebrate Easter.  The lesson was good.  Danny really put a lot of thought into it, and demonstrated our imperfect lives (chewed up gum) to the possibilities of making us whole (none of us were able to put our chewed gum into the wrapper to make it appear as it had before we chewed it)

Afterward, Danny allowed for a match game.  Hidden in each egg were pictures depicting the Savior's life.  24 eggs and 12 pictures.  After all the pics were matched, Danny than allowed the children to put the pictures as they would see them on the timeline of the Savior's life. 

We then sang "I Stand All Amazed" - a hymn I had memorized several decades ago as my eyes are always too blurred to actually see the lyrics.  I was a Spiritual wreck by the time class ended.