Monday, December 31, 2007

"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." Carl Reiner

Apropos of nothing. I like the quote and couldn't think of a post title.
blast! Either I messed up my html, or emailing it in or something else did. too bad. must work. Try to figure it out.
I work in the State Resources Building which occupies the south half of the block. In the northwest corner is the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
This morning as I took a break and went out for a short walk and quick breath of fresh car fumes, bus exhaust, and cigarette smoke, I saw a family approaching the mansion. One kid said, "Is that from Scooby Do? It's scary."

Here it is New Year's Eve and I haven't written since before Christmas. You know the story, busy, busy, busy! And limited computer time. Blah, blah, blah.

Christmas was, as usual, delightful. Team Sacramento (my local – not loco, well, anyway kids and I) gathered at Ruth's house for the Christmas Eve Dinner of homemade bread, cheese and fruit. She invited the missionaries to join us.

We watched <a href=>"The Nativity Story"</a> - except for skipping the very beginning and part of the end which shows Herod's soldiers going to Bethlehem. Esther and Jared were with us and just the thundering horses and music was scary. They didn't need the rest of that. It is a pretty good depiction. The kids think I am overly romantic to want to think that Mary and Joseph already knew and loved each other before the betrothal. Back then it could happen either way. In the movie, he chose her because she is virtuous, she had no say, but, of course, their feelings grow.

Christmas morning each household spent individually. The boys and I opened presents and watched <a href=</a> (which Santa brought us.) Later we went to Ruth's and had pizza (we all brought toppings over the night before) and fruit pizza (I made with leftover fruit from Christmas Eve) and opened more presents. Glen came over later for cookies.

The surprise to me hit present of the day was the Rudolf ornament set that Miriam gave Debi. I knew she wanted them, but she was totally overcome with emotion! Speaking of Debi. Debi gave me a beautiful calendar of photographs of the family. She put pictures of the person on their birthday, too.

Ooh. Tough choice time. Break time is quite over. Post or wait and add more? Something is better than nothing. Hopefully, I will post again soon. (I am sure you wait breathlessly.) One of my "resolutions" is to actually take a break at work and to 1) walk a little and 2) use some time to post.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Crowing, not crow

Andrew and Joseph just dropped by my office after taking the California State Office Assistant - General exam.  Andrew did OK.  Joseph scored 100% and is ranked #3 (the other 2 had bonus points, veterans, maybe).  Way to go, Joseph!

brief good bye

Vernon Charles Jensen


Wednesday was the funeral of one of my former Bishops.  I sometimes wish that I could attend a person's funeral while they were still alive, so I could appreciate them more.  The things you sometimes learn! 


Vernon had wanted to join the Air Force, but was rejected because of color blindness.  (I never knew he was color blind.)  He became a paratrooper instead.  He loved jumping out of airplanes! He was too young, joined up too late to see combat in WWII. 


He loved animals.  His son talked about chickens and a pigeon that young Vernon loved.  Who would have thought?  When Vernon was living/visiting (not sure which) that son, Rob, Rob's Lab was delighted!  She knew it meant lots of long walks.


We all knew that he was a crusty old curmudgeon.  From the crowded chapel, it would appear the crust did not effectively hide a loving heart.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Family Car Night

We popped up some popcorn, printed up the Sacramento Bee Holiday Lights Guide and piled in the car, 3 boys, 1 dog, and me.   For about 2 hours we wandered the city looking at lights, listening to Christmas music on the radio, and (Andrew and I) singing along. We hardly made a dent in the list. (We should plan ahead, mark up a big map, and go out different evenings by area.) Some of the addresses either I or the Bee must have gotten wrong, because either there were no lights (!) or just regular lights on houses,  but we did see some nice displays. 


One of our favorites was not on the list-  the house on 48th st right by Hwy 50.   Lighted displays in front, on the big side yard, inside the house, on the roof, even in the backyard.  The owner was out visiting with people and answering questions.   Very friendly.  As much fun as the house, was a group of bicyclers we saw finishing their visit there –decorated bikes,  one bike towing a small "sleigh" loaded with gifts and a big teddy bear.   Several of the bikers wearing various holiday hats or antlers, and strings of lights on their person.  It looked like they were having a fabulous time.   We heard that they were on their way to dessert, too.  What fun!


Of course we visited the neighborhood of 53rd and S off T Street.  With over 20 homes participating, it is delightful.  


3601 Kranhold Way is covered, totally covered, with LED lights, every wall – it looks like even the backyard wall, the trees, the shrubs.   It was impressive.


The real hit of the evening, which by serendipity was our last stop, was 3240 Eastwood Way.  64,000 lights on the house, the roof, the tree, the lawn (piano like), arches forming a tunnel on the driveway- programmed to their own broadcast of Christmas music.   Not only impressive, but fun.  Several times, we just laughed out loud as the lights performed for us.  We sat parked for about 10-15 minutes watching and listening.  If you are in Sacramento between now and the 26th, go by there between 5:30 and 10pm.   This was one house it would be worth going out of your way to enjoy.


The evening did much to banish the Bah-Humbugs, a real spirit lifter.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends

A friend sent this to me. You are supposed to email it to your friends. I rather post it. If you want to do it too, have fun! if not, no pressure. I only have time because I thought there was Seminary today.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Just copy this entire list and change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then post or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, Have fun!

I recieved this with the questions in green and the answers in red. Very festive, but I don't remember how to do colors right now.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I am not great at wrapping! Whatever is handiest at the time.

2. Real tree or artificial?
I prefer to think of it as perennial.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Sometime after Thankgiving. Hopefully be early December. One of the advantages of a perennial is not worrying about it drying out.

4. When do you take the tree down?
No set time. Sometimes New Years. or eventually. When we really want the space back.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes, but cut it with milk.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My purple cow.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

8. Hardest person to buy for?
I am a terrible shopper and struggle with most of them.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
That changes. It seems like each year there will be one or two people I see things for everywhere, while I am trying to figure out somebody else.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mostly Mail

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Haven’t thought about it and don’t think I want to.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
“Luke 2”, “It’s A Wonderful Life”

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
plead the 5th or failing memory

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
too much

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Different different years. This year we have white icicle lights that we normally hang from the eaves. We thought we were out of them when putting lights up on the house, so one section has the straight tree lights. Then, of course, we found them, but didn’t feel like switching them back.

16. Favorite Christmas song?
“What Child Is This,” “Mary, Did You Know?”

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually stay home.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
If I think about it long enough.

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Having procrastinated, so I am stressed rather than merry and have to remind myself that Christmas is about Christ..

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?

22. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Christmas Eve Dinner - bread, cheese and fruit

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I don’t know, I have a long “wish” list, but no expectations. A camera would be great, but unlikely.

24. Draw names for giving?
I don’t really like that, but some of my adult kids are pushing for it. It does simplify things, I guess, but makes gift giving an assignment and puts too much pressure on one gift. I like lots of presents. I like giving when I get it right. And who doesn't like opening presents?

25. Favorite Christmas tradition?
Christmas Eve Dinner and remembering the birth of our Savior

Sunday, December 16, 2007


As I was driving around doing various errands Saturday, I noticed what a lovely sunny winter afternoon it was. I thought, "I need to do something with my boys, we all need fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, Anna didn't get her walk today, and I need to deliver Christmas cards to my Visiting Teaching sisters." So, I called home and asked the guys to help me do my VT by bicycle. The flaw in the plan was that Andrew's bike is in need of repairs. We decided he would skate board.

In the past I have hitched my bike cart to my bike, harnessed the dog and tied a leash from the harness to the cart, put a gentle lead (like a horse's halter for dogs) and held that leash by hand, She is so eager taht she pulls the cart which helps stabilize me and pushes the bike. I ride the break and try to keep her on a reasonable pace for the first mile or so. Then I go slow for her. However, I haven't used the gentle lead in a long time and don't know where it is. I am not sure where my bike hitch is either. And I wanted to hurry because winter afternoons are short. I tried just holding Anna's leash, ok a longish rope, attached to her regular collar. She was wild with excitement and I immediately crashed. Andrew volunteered to handle Anna. I was a little concerned, but he thought he could handle her more easily. It worked pretty well. I had to bike either behind or beside Andrew to keep Anna from wanting to run too fast and to offer voice control assistance. Once in a while Andrew left the skateboard either voluntarily or not, but no harm done. Over all, it worked well and both Anna and Andrew enjoyed it.

This morning as I prepared to walk Anna to make one final VT delivery, Andrew offered to come along. This time we put Anna's harness on so she wasn't pulling against her neck. Andrew dogboarded and I walked. We may have found a fun way for Andrew to help exercise my dog.

Now, back to working on my Christmas cards.

our year "in brief"

If you already read my blog, there is nothing new here, but I decided to post it anyway. Some people on my Christmas card list that I don't think visit my blog are getting hard copies. Others will get my web address here. written under my signature. Just in case, Welcome, thanks for visiting!
here goes - our year "in brief" - but not nearly brief enough:

One of the first things I did this year was wreck my car. Early one dark morning in an empty parking lot, I slammed into a cement standard which probably, maybe will someday hold a light, but right then just totaled my car. My credit union gave me a loan and I bought another Cavalier because I had liked Jade so much. Sadly, Goldie isn’t quite the car Jade was, but it gets us around and that’s the main thing.

In February, Glen moved out and signed the house over to me. Again, my credit union gave me a loan. So, having filed for divorce to protect myself from debt, I immediately put myself into debt and felt pretty happy about it.

We have enormous amounts of work to do on the house. It is as old as I am and even more decrepit, having been almost totally neglected for 30+ years. I have no idea where to begin and am reluctant to incur even more debt, so thus far, there has been little to no progress. There are always plenty of other things to occupy us and enable procrastination, that’s for sure.

Andrew led Troop 40 in collecting and sorting over 1500 books which he delivered to Books for the Barrios to be distributed to poor Filipino schools. Later he added another carload of books that he collected after the official project. That was his Eagle project and completed his requirements for Eagle - except for preparing his application and Eagle book to the satisfaction of our District Eagle Advancement Chairman. It took several courageous visits to the lair of the bear to accomplish the task - just a couple of days before the deadline of his 18th birthday! Oh, then he had to pass a Board of Review, but that was easy compared to passing the chairman! We are proud that Andrew persevered and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. On the way to his Eagle Court of Honor and "After Party" in September, Andrew helped an old man who stumbled crossing a busy street and had us drive him safely home.

The boys and I drove up to Vancouver to be at my granddaughter Acadia's baptism in June. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend - visiting, celebrating Cadi's birthday, and participating in her baptism. She was radiant and the spirit was strong. It is a joy to see her growing into such a lovely young lady.

We are so blessed to live "almost next door" to Tom, Ruth and the kids. The uncles sometimes babysit for them. Tom helps us around the house - like replacing our front door and other helpful things. I get to do Stampin'Up with Ruth now and then. And it is just nice knowing they are there. It is so good to have them close by!

We enjoy Sunday dinners usually at Ruth’s house with Debi and Miriam a couple of times a month and get together for most birthdays and holidays. Lucky me!

Ben had great fun on a trip to Disneyland this summer with his cousin Adam and aunts Kris and Lainee, mostly courtesy of Aunt Lainee. (Thank you! ) We both survived him flying alone. He got to know his cousin and aunts a little better. They all had a terrific time.

My divorce was final August 22. There are some things I don't know when I will really get used to. Being solely responsible for my home. Being divorced in such a family, marriage oriented faith. Knowing that my children have to explain things to their children that don't fit what we teach about "families can be together forever". Not being at home. Still, it is more good than not. I have had the witness of the spirit that this is the course I must take. The boys and I are happier. Home feels more like home. I feel peaceful.

Apparently it is working out well for Glen, too. He started attending the church singles activities when the divorce became final and by Thanksgiving he was engaged. I am told it will be a short engagement. Ingrid seems like a nice lady.

Over the Thanksgiving holidays we had all my children together. Not for Thanksgiving itself, as Ruth and Tom were hosting his family. Debi had the rest of us over to her new home Thanksgiving Day where, despite the turkey being HOURS late, we had a lovely time and a delicious dinner. The siblings (my children and their spice - plural of spouse?) had a couple of sibling get togethers over Thanksgiving weekend. We all enjoyed an afternoon at Fairytale Town. I relished having all my children in one place, a feat not readily accomplished any more.

I have been working at the California Department of Parks and Recreation Business and Fiscal Services for a year now. Although I deeply miss being at home, I am constantly aware that the Lord really blessed me with this job. From the convenience of having my office right by the light rail line, to the wonderful boss, the pleasant co-workers, the opportunities to learn (I have taken 2 Accounting classes courtesy of the state and am signed up for another one next semester), and my nice work station, I am truly blessed.

For a brief time, work was even nicer. I had had the boys come downtown with me - to map my office (they did a wonderful job! the map and index they made for me has been very helpful) and to enjoy the annual opening of the downtown ice rink. They also helped out with little office odd jobs. After that, Joseph came in nearly every day for about a month and a half as an unofficial, unpaid worker. He had his own cubicle and never lacked for work. My unit loved having him. He liked getting the work experience. Unfortunately, "management" got worried about liability and put an end to his unofficial job. Even though we hardly saw each other during the work day, knowing he was there made the office feel even better to me. I miss him now.

At the end of September, my world was rocked when our Stake (comparable to a diocese) was reorganized. My ward (congregation) was dissolved. The remaining 6 wards were realigned and re-organized. So really all 7 wards were dissolved and 6 new wards created. It has been an emotional time, but our new ward, Perkins Ward, is beginning to feel like home, too. We no longer meet in our beloved building at 51st and Dover, and I miss it! but, Perkins Ward is growing into a real ward family. With the reorganization I was without a church calling for a month or so. I was beginning to feel like a non-person and wondered if being divorced had anything to do with it. Then they asked me to serve on the Ward Activities Committee and to be the Cub Scout Cub Committee Chairman. As a parent, I am also on the Scout Committee. I am making lots of Scouting noise and hoping to help make a positive difference in boy's lives. I am a little concerned about Scouting in my new ward, but I am going to try to help make it work. Also, I still nag "my" Life Scouts from old Troop 40, my fledglings. I like Eagle Courts of Honor.

I am thankful for the many blessings in my life - not least of which the many wonderful people who have blessed my life. I think of you, thank God for you and pray for your welfare. I am sorry that I do not manage to spend actual time with you!

Merry Christmas! Celebrate the birth of our Saviour with joy and thankfulness. I really love the baby Jesus, but it is the adult Jesus, an innocent man allowing Himself to be tormented for my sins; the most powerful being in the universe submitting to the torture and mockery of weak, ignorant and sinful men, an immortal God willingly dying a cruel death, and then rising triumphant so I can live again that I worship. May you feel of His Spirit and His love at Christmas and throughout the coming year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sayonara CCC

Joseph and Andrew went to a California Conservation Corp meeting yesterday. In our excitement thinking about the CCC, we had forgotten about Joseph's susceptibility to thermal problems. At various Scouting activities in his youth, he has gotten sick from both hypothermia and from hyperthermia. As the CCC often works outside in somewhat adverse conditions, they mutually concluded that they are not a match. As for Andrew, soon after the new year, he plans to make himself available for volunteer work of another kind. The requirements are stringent, but I think that he should qualify. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It was nice while it lasted

Management sent word that Joseph cannot come to work anymore.  sigh.  Everyone liked having him here, but there are official concerns, like liability and such.  I am so sad. 
On the other hand, Joseph and Andrew are going to be taking their first state exam for some beginning office position later this month.  The wheels grind slowly, but maybe someday.....
updating by copying from a letter to a missionary friend:

One week from today is my one year anniversary working here.  I still   feel truly blessed to have gotten this job, although I deeply miss being at home.  


The California Conservation Corps has indicated that they probably finally have openings for Joseph and Andrew – residential in San Luis Obsipo –I think in January.   But, I am hoping Andrew will not be available!  Joseph is not sure he wants to leave Sacramento.  Going with Andrew sounded fun.   Going alone, not so much.  And now he has his cat to worry about, although I would keep her for him, of course!   If he goes, I am pretty sure that David and Teresa will  get him and take him to church on Sundays, maybe have him stay the weekend once in a while.   And it is right by a Community College.


Andrew and Joseph both are scheduled to take a state exam  – Office Assistant General – very starter level.   Of course the wheels of state government move much too slowly for Andrew to earn any money with them before his mission, but taking the exam will be a good experience.   Hopefully, he can get on a hold list or something.  But if not, it will be good practice.


Andrew has been going out working with Chris P lately, which he has really enjoyed. 


I still have had no contact with our Pack Cubmaster.  Phone calls get a "full mailbox" message.    I am going to drop a note by his house tonight inviting him to Pack Committee Meeting after Den Meetings next Wednesday.  I also sent Primary President  an email this morning suggesting they put me in as Cubmaster at least temporarily if it looks like he is not going to work out.   She passed it on to the Bishop's Counselor.


Ben had been taking an algebra class on line.  He completed it except for the final exam which you had to get perfect to pass.   He must have taken it 6 times and missed one.  Yesterday, he finally passed!  Happy day!   And ice cream.


Perkins Ward RS had a lovely Christmas Enrichment Meeting/Dinner last night  .   After all these year of Camellia City inviting husbands when I personally would have preferred not (although he would have been there anyway, because they always had him do sound/lights), Perkins had a ladies only when I really didn't care!   But it was nice.  We were assigned tables.  I sat with 2 other Perkins West (Camellia City Ward) ladies and 3 Perkins East ladies.   Ruth was at my table and so was Mele's sister, so that was someone from my "home ward" that I hardly knew.  There were conversation starters at the table, but we waited until it started for that.   I started the pre-conversation by asking everyone what they had done that day.  Jen is a high school science teacher, but won't be long.   Oh, why?  Lots of reasons. Any you want to share?  So we were the first to hear she is expecting her first baby in July.   Ruth and I had our first babies in July, both girls.  Georgianna had her first baby in July, a boy.  I told Jen that means she will have a boy to even it out.   Anyway, we did have plenty of pleasant conversation, then a nice, short ; ) program which included Jenna wowing the unsuspecting Perkins Easters with her voice.   The food was tasty, if not generous.  It was a nice evening.  And I got the signatures I need to turn in the (not accurate) Pack Recharter at Roundtable tomorrow night, so I don't have to go back to the church tonight.   Will I pay bills or go Christmas shopping??


I am so not ready for Christmas!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Just thinking about Christmas

I really love the baby Jesus, but it is the adult Jesus, an innocent man allowing Himself to be tormented for my sins; the most powerful being in the universe submitting to the torture and mockery of weak, ignorant and sinful men, an immortal God willingly dying a cruel death, and then rising triumphant so I can live again that I worship. 

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Talking Turkey

Thanksgiving weekend started Tuesday morning during Seminary when we took custody of Anna's friend Tuffy for a week.  By the time I got home from work, we also had Simon, of, as Ben puts it, the Vancouver team.   By which I knew that Sariah and company had arrived after spending some time with her good friend Heather (she and her husband are amazing) and their family, now of 7 children, all adopted.  We went over to visit with them and Ruth for a little bit.


Each morning for the first part of our doggie week, Ben and I walked the dogs along the parkway.  Saturday, after the siblings stayed up talking until 3am!  I just played with the dogs in the front yard, did some yard work, and hung out some more talking to David and occasionally throwing balls.  Sunday was yard day again.  Monday, the dogs all had to stay home during Seminary and Ben played with them afterwards.  Tuffy went home Monday afternoon, and Simon left during Seminary Tuesday.  All in all the doggie invasion went pretty well EXCEPT! I think it was Wednesday evening when Anna and Simon fought over food. Pretty one-sided fight!  Anna was very naughty.  After that, Anna spent a lot of time locked in my room when I couldn't supervisor her and each dog was locked in a separate part of the house until they all finished eating or the food was removed. Velox pretty much stayed in Joseph's room as usual, but did venture out briefly towards the end of their stay.  Mostly, things went well.  Tuffy's family was able to travel without worrying about her and Ben earned some money for camp.


Everyone (all my kids except Ruth who was hostessing her in-laws, Glen and his fiancée, and our friends the Gonzalez family) brought something to Thanksgiving dinner at Debi's.  I was in charge of the turkey.  I did get it in the oven a little later than planned, but not much.  It must have still been nearly frozen inside, because it took a really LONG time.  I was testing it in the thigh, but my friend thought we should try the breast. Hooray! it tested done.  We took it out to set and put other things in the oven.  When Carlos began to carve, Oh, NO!, it was not thoroughly cooked.  We had to wait for oven availability before it could go back.  After originally aiming for 2pm, but knowing we would likely be a little late, we didn't eat until shortly after 6!  By that time, the Vancouver team had had to leave to be with Sariah's in-laws.  That was bad.  Fortunately, no one was starving as we had lots of appetizers – crackers and cheeses, stuffed eggs,  dip and chip.  Also, fortunately, when we finally did eat, everything was delicious.  Ok, I did NOT try the scrawning, DARK, leathery looking goose. Ben did, brave soul, and said it wasn't too bad.

It was a overall a pleasant day.  It was also our meeting of Ingrid, Glen's intended.  I like her much more than her fiancée, no big surprise.  She was pleasant, conversant, helpful, and at ease with herself and others.


Friday morning, David and Teresa and I did a session at the Sacramento Temple.  We had thought that more of us would come, but it was hard to get up and part of the Vancouver team forgot their recommend.  It was a full session, nonetheless.  Rosers brought the kids up to look at the temple and take pictures.  Back to our respective bases for lunch. Then we all went to Fairy Tale Town where the kids (of various ages!) and adults visited.  It was pretty crowded, but not terribly.  Esther and Jared love the Tree House Slide.  The big kids had a lot of fun on the funny long tube seesaw thing in Sherwood Forest.  Fairytale Town seems to retain its magic for the young at heart.

Ruth hoped to meet Ingrid, so the kids invited her and Glen.  Unfortunately, Ingrid had errands, so she dropped Glen off at FTT. FairyTale Town closed before she was done. David and Teresa took Glen to wherever she was.  Ruth made food assignments and invited everyone to eat dinner at her place, again hoping to meet Ingrid.  That worked out only so-so.  Ruth was busy organizing in the kitchen, Ingrid and Glen sat in the corner looking at Ruth's Ikea catalog.  There were too many of us to all eat at the same table.  Ruth motioned for them to eat at her table, but they didn't.  At first Ruth was a bit disappointed that she didn't see the pleasant, friendly person we told her about, but then she decided that it had been a couple of long days for everyone and Ingrid was probably tired.

Friday evening after dinner was siblings only at Ruth's house.  They stayed up talking until 3am!!! 

Saturday, David and Teresa headed back to Cal Poly.  We were lucky to have them visit so long, they even sacrificed going to Teresa's family's traditional chocolate dipping day Friday.  But it didn't seem like a very long visit at all!

Rosers came to church with us Sunday and dinner at Ruth's.  After the children and Grandma (me) went to bed, the siblings talked to Glen about their concerns about getting married again so quickly and what it teaches the grandchildren about the importance of marriage.  He told them that he and Ingrid would talk about what they said.

Monday, it was back to work for me.  Tuffy went home in the afternoon.  Rosers stuck around and I saw them briefly that evening, but I had homework to do and left the siblings to themselves again.  They picked up Simon and headed back north while Ben and I were at Seminary Tuesday.  Rosers were in California a whole week.  They have so many people who want to have time with them that the time just flies.  They have to be careful not to be run ragged visiting friends and relatives.  We sure enjoyed our time with them.

There was one little disappointment.  Ben really wanted everyone to play Monopoly, but it just didn't work out.  Yesterday, for his birthday, my Sacramento kids and I got together and played - even I played! - as a birthday present for Benjamin.  My "baby" is 15 years old and shaving.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Laus Deo

There is an email going around about the Washington Monument, Washington DC, and George Washington.  I checked it out at and it is mostly TRUE.   See for yourself, it's interesting and a little thought provoking.
I am grateful for the faith of America's Founding Fathers.
The world would be a better place if the leaders and citizens of today would return to our heritage of faith and service.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Golden Compass - NOT the Liahona

THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that 'My books are about killing God.'

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.

The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and  Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.

 You can research this for yourself. Check with,, Google.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No longer flying under the radar

Sunday, Bishop’s 1st Counselor called me in for a little interview.

He did tell me an interesting story about interviewing my Andrew for temple baptisms in a shower stall in the temple!!

He asked if I would serve on the Activities Committee. I agreed. Then he asked if I would consider accepting a 2nd calling. I said it depends on what it is. He called me to Cub Scout Committee Chairman.

Of course as a parent, I am also a member of the Scout Troop Committee which met that evening. The Committee Chair, the Assistant Scoutmaster for 11 year old Scouts (Ray H), and me.

We met at what apparently was Rosemont’s traditional time - during the youth fireside. Convenient for the parents - one trip does all - except they didn’t come. Not too practical for having the Scoutmasters/YM leaders or Senior Patrol Leader come as they were all at the fireside. Next time we are trying the Thursday after Roundtable.

The Scout Troop Committee serves all the Scouts from 11-18, which in Perkins Ward and throughout the Stake apparently, is 4 different groups. We will see how this works. Vivian S, our Chair, is a dedicated Scouter, so I am sure that she will really work for the boys. She says that we really do have a Venture and a Varsity Program, not just empty titles. I hope so. I also hope that the Scouts do some things in combination.

No one knows anything about summer camp yet. Rosemont usually had ONE fundraiser dinner to cover camp costs. Apparently there is big money in having people bring desserts and then bid for them in auction. Maybe if the people involved have big money to spend. Perkins west is not so flush. Hopefully, it will work.

I am a little bit excited about my new callings. I just hope I can manage the time. I spent all my break time on e-mails to the WAC chair and to Cub leaders. WAC is supposed to have a calendar to the Bishopric by the first of the month. She says we are supposed to do activities every other month. I told her about some of our good activities. On the Cub side, I was telling them about training opportunities - especially University of Scouting coming up in January.

oh, I got my Visiting Teaching route, too.

On the home front, I donated probably hundreds of dollars of 20-30 year old Tupperware to DI last Saturday. I still have plenty. A little breathing room in a couple of cupboards and a few inches of actual visible counter space. Pathetic baby steps, but for us ACCOMPLISHMENT.

The boys and I also worked on our not so secret Christmas project. Orange Marmalade. Few of us have ever tasted it, none of us have made it, but we have oranges and not much money. We only made one batch of 7 jars, but we will do more. When? not sure, but hopefully before Christmas! This will be our gift to family and Home and Visiting Teaching peoples and my boss. We had a little bit left after filling the jars. Sunday morning we had orange marmalade on toast. We all wanted more. Success!

Tomorrow we face a canine invasion. Anna’s friend, Tuffy, is coming in the morning to be dog-sat for a week. And Sariah’s dog, Simon, is coming, I think in the afternoon, also for a week. Poor Velox! (The little black cat Joseph adopted. Our Found Cat signs produced several calls, but not from her former home.)

Wednesday, David and Teresa come to join the madness. They will not stay as long as the dogs. They are smarter. They leave early Saturday. We are lucky to have them that long. Teresa’s family has a tradition of gathering for chocolate dipping on the Friday after T-day, but David and Teresa are not going there this time.

I had planned on doing Thanksgiving Dinner at the church. Plenty of room, facilities, and chairs. Debi decided that we are eating at her new house, instead. Good, I have been wanting to see it. This does lead to some minor confusion about who’s in charge here, but I think she is. Was there ever any doubt really? Numerous e-mails between the whole group of us have gotten all the food assigned. Us and the Gonzalez’s. and Ingrid, the future Mrs. Robarts. poor thing. We are having turkey, goose, macaroni and cheese, among other things, of course.

Friday morning, several of us are doing a session at the temple. Weather permitting, we are all going to Fairy Tale Town in the afternoon.

Sariah and company will be in Sacramento until Monday or very early Tuesday, but they are in great demand. I don’t expect to see them Saturday, but they will come to church with us Sunday and maybe to Sunday dinner.

Maybe the boys and I will work on orange marmalade again Saturday.

I am supposed to be doing home evening and getting Christmas presents ready to go with the out of towners.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

another surprise

Remember the accounting exam (one of 3 or 4 "midterms") that I went to take immediately after my eventful dentist trip? 
It was a challenging chapter.  I am still struggling with the last concept.  I was just hoping to pass this one. 
I got an A!  
(One guy in the class had a perfect paper!  I am in AWE.) 
and I have an A overall in this class so far. 
We are now in the last unit, 4 more homework assignments, 3 more quizzes, and 1 more exam (sans dental appointment and happy news, I hope!)  I don't know if I can keep my A, but I should do ok.
Even though I don't think I really understand all this stuff.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More from Amazon - Is there hope?

First, please allow me to extend my most sincere apologies for any
frustration this matter has caused.

I can assure you that your concern is already escalated to the
appropriate department in our company for consideration.

Also, we are already made aware of our customers concern regarding
this products. Our investigation team is already working on this
matter and one they complete the investigation, they will make
necessary changes in this regard.

Please know that we respect your opinions and value your feedback.
Strong customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the
selection and service we provide, and we appreciate the time you
took to write to us.

Rest assured that this matter will be resolved to your satisfaction.
Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated in this

Therefore before authorizing us to close your account, please read
the following information carefully. Further action is required in
order to close your account.

Once your account is closed, it's no longer accessible by you or
anyone else. You'll need to start a new account if you wish to order
more items on our site, participate in auctions, or take advantage
of any other features on our web site which require a password.


I am waiting a little while. Maybe I can still shop at

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Amazon Law of the Jungle

Distressed to read in the Humane Society News that sells such things as dog fighting videos and cock fighting magazines, I wrote to expressing my dismay and hope to hear soon that they will discontinue supporting suffering and cruelty.

Their reply:

"Thank you for writing to with your concerns.

I understand that you feel very strongly about this issue.

Let me assure you that does not support or promote hatred
or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to
choose his or her own reading material or entertainment.

As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest
selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any item
they might be seeking. That selection includes some items which
many people may find objectionable. Therefore, the items offered on
our web site represent a wide spectrum of opinions on a variety of
topics. believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles
because we believe their message is objectionable. Therefore, we
will continue to make controversial works available in the United
States and everywhere else, except where they are prohibited by
law. We also allow readers, authors, and publishers to express
their views freely about these titles and other products we offer on
our web site. However, does not endorse any opinions
expressed by individual authors, musical artists, or filmmakers."

I am not a big customer by any stretch, but I have certainly liked the convenience of shopping Amazon. In fact, I had just recently happily taken care of some of my Christmas shopping. However, I am terminating my account with them. There are some things I may disapprove of and know are wrong, yet agree to disagree, but I cannot knowingly support such torture and cruelty even in a small remote way. Some people say that we have no right to force our values on others, especially in the business place, but I say we must stand up for what is right. Taking a stand on what kind of business I choose to do does not force my values on others. They are free to make their own choices, but I will have no part in it.

My last email to Amazon: " Please cancel my account with you and remove my lists. I am not knowingly doing business with a company that promotes cruelty and torture such as dog fighting and cockfighting. I shudder to think what other reprehensible and cruel activities you support in your goal to provide customers with the broadest selection possible in ANYTHING they might be seeking. You have no morals and one less customer. "

Dear loved ones, in the future, please do not purchase gifts for me from Sorry, I know how convenient and easy it was! Instead of a gift, write me a note saying you supported my small boycott. Thing of the money you'll save!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think I may be living a rather bad sit-com

Q: What is worse than going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam?  
(besides not going to the dentist and having the thing continue to bother you)
A:  Going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam and running into your recent ex.
Q: What is worse than going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam and running into your recent ex?
A: Going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam, running into your recent ex and having him tell you that he is bringing his fiance to your Thanksgiving Dinner with the kids.
This is going to be an interesting Thanksgiving.
PS - to my loving friends and family - do not worried about me, I am more amused than anything except for being a bit concerned for the welfare of the future Mrs.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Joe's "Job"

Last Friday, the boys spent the day downtown, mostly in my office. They successfully mapped my office and gave me an index. It has proven useful in sending them on errands, and both for me to find staff and to direct visitors to the people they want to see. It is a very good map. They helped a bit here and there, then we went to lunch. All you can eat lunch buffet at Roundtable Pizza. Nice! After lunch, Andrew and Benjamin went to the Downtown Ice Rink which was letting people skate free for opening day. And giving free light rail passes, so I didn't have to pay to take them home! Joseph and I returned to the office where Joseph made himself useful. Andrew and Benjamin came back and helped some more before quitting time. In fact, Mr. Promptness, made us leave a few minutes late so he could assemble "one more" in-box for the supervisor he was helping. The boys were immensely popular here!

This week, Benjamin returned to his Independent Studies at home, and Andrew to his computer life with some interruptions for chores and a little job hunting. Joseph has been working full time this week as an unpaid member of our office. Yesterday, he even came to staff meeting with me. The supers are loving him. One reminded him to put this experience on his resume, gave him her card, and told him he can use her as a reference. Another told me today that they are becoming dependent on him.

I like having him around, although we are both working so diligently in different cubicles, that we don't see each other much. He is getting some work experience and comfortable with the whole work/office thing. Finding out that he is smart and valued. Some of my co-workers are making headway on some back-piled work. It is a good experience all around. The only bad thing is that he is so busy, he hasn't had much time to look into applying for a state exam so he can get a job that actually pays. The good thing is that the experience is making him more comfortable and interested in the idea.
Today we are even working an extra half hour - me on both reducing my backlog and my vacation hours for Turkey time. Him because he is so diligent and generous.
We had thought that Joseph and Andrew would be with the California Conservation Corps by now, but apparently openings are harder to come by than we first thought. Time to stop waiting on that and get on with in the meantime or instead.
"Ben's supervisor" is hoping that he will soon have another available day. She thought he was very mature and helpful.
Andrew did not get attached to any particular supervisor, that I know of, but just made himself useful here and there. They would be glad to have him come again, too.
I do have a couple of IMAX tickets from the BloodSource.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

oh, the shame of it all

Months ago I got a Blockbuster coupon from a co-worker, a leader type even, and began happily passing it on to almost everyone I had any electronic contact with.  Recently, one of my co-workers to whom I passed it, told me that when she tried to use it, she learned it was a hoax!  Then I finally did what I should have done in the first place, and checked it out on one of the myth busting sites,, this time, I think.  False, false, false.  I am so sorry that I passed this hoax on to you.  If you haven't taken it in, but plan to, don't.  Sorry about that!  Next time, I think I will check first.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ta dump!


The Hinds Halloween Party and Picture Show Friday was, as usual, great fun.  The Hinds came as Toy Story Characters – Tom was Buzz, Ruth was Jessie, Esther Bo Peep and Jared Woody.   Hannah K wore a 50's outfit with full circle skirt and bobby sox. One of her daughters was a pink poodle.  The other was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.   There were other fun costumes, good food, and visiting.  The Picture Show was Toy Story 2, but I was so tired, I went out to sleep in the car.


As we were leaving the party, Joseph spotted a black cat in the parking lot.  This was a matter of concern with Halloween so near.   He and the cat made friends immediately and we brought her (we think her) home for safe keeping.  Saturday we took her to the SPCA to check for a microchip.   (none, of course. Our Princess Attila the Mouse Hun of Kitty Hen Spoiled Cat Face doesn't have one either.).  This morning I put up some signs around the block during Seminary.   I need to make and put up more.  Meanwhile, she is living in Joseph's room with a tendancy to cry when he leaves.   Last evening she came out exploring.  She is considerably less eager to meet Anna than Anna is to meet her.  What she is interested in is the cockatiels.   If we don't find her family, Joseph has a cat (whom he is teaching to leave the birds alone). 


Saturday was dumpster day!  The dumpster arrived Thursday and the boys put a few things in, but Saturday was the big day.   We did manage to get the old freezer out and the new old freezer in. Hooray!  We also took down the old tree play deck.   The boys had more fun demolishing the deck than they had playing on it. More junk went in from around the yard.  By  the end of the day, we were tired and dirty, but proud, and the dumpster almost full.   Sorting stuff to go from inside the house is harder, but hopefully a few more things will go before the dumpster does.  Progress is slow, but it is forward.


Perkins Ward continues to put itself together.  Still little to no word on Scouts. Ben tells me that Andrew is the only Priest who is an Eagle, but that 2 Teachers are Eagles.  (So there must be some Scouting program, right?!) Ben is determined that soon there will be 3.  Also, I still have no calling.   It is hard to relax and enjoy the freedom, while 1) wondering what I am going to get called to, 2) being totally out of any loop. I miss having keys.  Of course, what I really want are keys to the Dover building.   It is hard for me not to regret turning them in as instructed. Sigh





Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Wonderful Weekend


Saturday, the 13th the boys and I drove to San Luis Obispo to see David and Teresa.  As we approached she sent a text message asking how the journey fared and assuring us that the castle servants were working to have all in readiness.  We texted back and forth in a pseudo medieval vane until we arrived at their (rather smallish) castle and saw the banner flying from the rampart – or scarf attached to the door.   They are in a little mother-in-law cottage in a lovely backyard of some very nice people.  We had a wonderful time visiting with them, exploring a pier, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on the beach, playing In10sity (a Simply Fun game), attending church, watching movies, and eating their delicious food.   They were charming hosts – comfortable, fun, gracious.  A delightful visit. 


Monday, we went to Monterey.  We had packed sandwiches at the castle.  As we drove through Monterey towards the Aquarium we were intrigued by an interesting looking playground – Dennis the Menace Park-  so we decided to eat our sandwiches there.   The guys liked it there so much that I left them to play – and imagine Capture the Flag games – while I went walking for a couple of hours.  I enjoyed visiting buildings that are part of the Monterey State Historic Park, walking along cannery row, drifting through Ghiradelli's and breathing very deeply, just walking along the recreational trail that runs along the shore.


Reunited with the boys, we learned that I had left my car lights on again! The battery was dead.  Fortunately, the people in the next parking space kindly gave us a jump.   This led to some scenic driving.  Andrew and I expressed great sympathy for the poor people in their ugly little houses in that awful place where they look out the window and see the beastly ocean every day.   Must be rough.  I was surprised at how many nice big houses with real yard were there in such prime real estate.   Also, being a dedicated State Parks employee, we drove by or through a couple of State Parks just to be sure that they are really there.  Once I felt we had charged up the battery enough to safely park, we headed back to Monterey Bay Aquarium.


The Monterey Bay Aquarium had sent us free tickets for Homeschoolers Day.  I had originally thought that Hinds might go or even that we might take the kids if the parents couldn't go, but then I decided to make a whole weekend get away of it and that seemed like to much for the Grandma bit.  There was barely floor space for the 4 of us as it was.  Sorry, E&J!  Oh, they are very small. MAYBE next time.   Anyway, so we had tickets for 1 student (Ben) and 2 children, plus 3 adults – one per child.  However, I expected to pay for 2 of us since the children didn't' come.   I explained it to the ticket lady, but she said 3 adults were authorized, go ahead.  We thoroughly enjoyed a rather brief visit to the Aquarium – only a couple of hours.   Spent most of our time at Wild About Otters. 


It had been a lovely weekend, but we were ready to go home.  So we did.


I was pleased to find Anna well cared for and, while clearly delighted to have us back home, not at all distressed.   I had hired a pet sitting service (Wags-2-Whiskers) for the first time.  Only met my sitter the night before we left.  She did a great job and left notes at each of her twice daily visits.   And reasonably priced.


Dumpster Delayed


Miriam needed help moving, so we re-calendared the dumpster.  It comes tomorrow.   We don't really have a master plan, but we have so much junk, especially around the yard, that we can fill it pretty good before tough decision making time.  The most ambitious goal is to try to get our old freezer out.   First, the kitchen is crowded and cluttered with stuff that has to be moved in order to have room to maneuver the old freezer.  Second, the freezer is pretty full of food that should remain frozen.   Third, the freezer is stuck in place from sitting there for several years, during which there has been more than one spill.  This will be interesting.



I Spilled Cocoa All Over My Desk!


A whole cup.  Now I have papers lying around to dry so they won't stick together.   It is a little embarrassing, but oh, well.  Now, do I allow myself a new cup of cocoa?


I didn't have time.  Life at work is crazy busy.  We call it job security.   I am so far behind, that I am starting to stay an extra half hour if I don't have to be home for something.  I hope to take it against my time off Wednesday before Thanksgiving.   My boss didn't ask me to do overtime, but she didn't object when I told her I was staying the other day.  So, I don't know if I have approved overtime, but for my own peace and sanity, I will do some even if it is donated to the State.


I found out that one of the other gals under my boss is #1 on the Acct Tech list.  She is also being promoted in place.   We have a terrific boss.




Trying To Have Faith


One thing is very distressing about the ward realignment.  Scouts.  We loved Troop 40.  We were a small but happy troop.  The Bishopric was pretty supportive of Scouting although the YM leaders were missing in inaction.   Sutter YM leaders were highly supportive. 


Still, the Scoutmaster and I wondered if we were really doing what we could.  We compared ourselves (although we told us not to) to the super troop, 380, I think.   A big gentile troop with huge parent participation.  In fact, many of the parents and grandparents stay on in troop support long after the boys have grown up and out.  


Now, we are looking at things the way things appear to be in our new wards. Man, we were doing a good job!


At first glance, it appears that basically only lip service is given to the idea of Scouting and what little they do, they do completely differently.    For instance, the boys are separated by quorum and actively discouraged from combined age campouts etc.  Our troop enjoyed the age mix.  The older boys were tremendously helpful in guiding and teaching the "munchkins" as they called the younger guys.    I hope I am wrong, but the word I get from my friends who have been called as YM counselors / "Scoutmasters" in the new wards that encompass what was once Camellia City Ward is pretty discouraging. I was so excited when I heard that they were called as both YM counselors and Scout leaders.   However, we are learning that they didn't really mean much by the Scoutmaster part.  We are hoping that we can have some influence to bring Scouting to life.   (To Eagle, actually)


I need to try to find out who was behind the wonderful Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting we had back in January  and try to get them to come educate our Stake and Wards.


My poor Scouts!



Out of Character
Yesterday as I left my car to dash for the train, I actually checked my headlights.  (and went back and turned them off)
When I returned at the end of the day to a nearly empty parking lot, I found a lady asking a gentleman to jump start her car.  Neither of them had jumper cables.  But I did! And my car started!  So, he got out his instruction book, and (not that much of a gentleman) instructed me on how to connect the cables (with constant warnings not to touch any metal).  We got her going again.  For once I came to the rescue instead of needing to be rescued!
(I sure hope I turned off my lights again today.)

I have been trying off and on all day for days to write – but breaks go by so quickly!  The last one is up for the day.   So this is it.




Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I don't think anyone from work reads my blog

email to my boss
I got the results from my Acct Tech oral exam. It concerns me for the welfare of the State that I actually passed. Barely, but passed. Ranked #2! Jackie says she is number 3 so I suspect that no more than 3 or maybe 4 of us took the exam. Before conversing with Jackie, I assumed only 2 people took it.
Thanks for all your help and encouragement!

from my boss:
Congratulations!!!! That’s great!! I’ll talk to Dorothy and see if we can do an upgrade in place. Please keep this confidential until I have spoken with Dorothy.

a little later from my boss:
We are going to upgrade you in place. I will start working on the paperwork to do this, I’m not sure how long it will take but hopefully they will back date it to the day you became reachable on the Accounting Technician list. I’ll keep you in the loop. Keep this to yourself (around work I mean…of course you can tell your family J ).

(surprisingly, Dorothy, our acting unit chief, sat on my oral exam, so she knows how really badly I did)

How the Lord has blessed me with this job!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

MBA Weekend and more

This weekend the boys and I are driving to San Luis Obispo. We are going to visit David and Teresa, get to the beach for the first time this year (that's criminal!), spend Sunday with them, and go to Monterey Bay Aquarium Monday (we have free tickets for HomeSchoolers Day)

The week after that, I have a dumpster coming. We are going to get rid of some of the junk around the yard and house. Not nearly all, because we have so much clutter and collections of stuff to wade through, but some.

Accounting Class is going well, but I humiliated myself at an Accounting Tech oral exam. It was really bad. I forgot the answers to basic accounting questions. I don't get the results until the end of the month, but I think they will be something like "You have got to be kidding!" When I came back, I told my boss that I was surprised I got hired as an Account Clerk II. She pooh-poohed that and said I am good, but she was not at the interview. Unfortunately, our acting section chief was. I am embarrassed every time I see her now. Another gal said that only three of us took the exam and she thinks they might just pass us all. If so, what a dumb exercise in meaningless effort. But, if they do, I will take it! She said one of the guys in my office came out of the mail room with no experience, did lousy on the exam, and here he is working away fine. Is a puzzlement.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pay Back Time

Last Thursday, we had an Off-Site Administration Picnic. We went to Marshall State Historic Park in Coloma where gold was discovered. An interpetive ranger in period dress showed us our to pan for gold, had some pioneer games to play, and took us on hikes before and after lunch. Volleyball competion between units was fierce, but had a time conflict with the hikes, so I didn't see much of it. After lunch, we had a K-9 demonstration. I didn't know that State Parks had dogs! We have 11 state-wide, I think they said. Lunch was great! Beans, salad, and tri-tip. I didn't feel too badly about eating lunch since I did go on both hikes. It was a great day in one of our wonderful state parks. It reminded us what our paper pushing jobs are really all about. California State Parks are awesome.

Friday was pay back. What a rough day. Everyone seemed to have extra problems to handle. It was a pain. But Thursday was worth it.

another payback story - Almost a year and a half ago, I borrowed money from my aunt to hire a lawyer so I could file for divorce. We didn't discuss when I would repay her, it was a when you can kind of thing. When the divorce was nearly finalized and it had been a year since she gave me the money, I finally sent her a check and added a little interest. She wrote back that we never talked about any interest and that I could expect a check in the mail. I figured she was giving me back the extra money, but instead she gave me a substantial gift and told me to get something that I wanted for myself. I thought about several possibilities. Finally, I took the boys to Sleep Train and we all got new mattresses. Ours were all very old, saggy lumpy awful things. Mine the least bad. I think it is the first time in my life that I have had a new mattress. (Except when Glen got us a waterbed which I never really liked. It was bad for my back. Great for his. Go figure) I could have gotten cheaper mattresses elsewhere, but I thought this is a once a life time opportunity, get the best you can. Besides, they delivered and took away the ones we were replacing. That was Monday. I have had a couple of delicious nights sleep! The boys say it feels good, too.

not all pay back stories go so well - Before the divorce, we borrowed money to do much needed house repairs. G borrowed just slightly more than 60% of it to get a new Prius. I was foolish to let it happen. At the time he said he would pay it back plus $50 / month interest. Nothing in writing because I am STOO PID. I was stupid to let him borrow it at all. Also, that was a few months before I realized that I had to get the divorce, so, neither of us knew that was coming. Now he says he is (eventually) going to pay back 1/2 the value of his car minus 1/2 the value of the car I had when I filed - about 40% of what he borrowed! I don't think it is right, but we see right differently. Meanwhile, I have a kitchen that I think honestly could be condemned.

If I had a smidgen of my sister's talent, I would fix the kitchen up myself and spend about 50 cents doing it. Ok, maybe 50 dollars. But I am worse than clueless.

I love General Conference

Several times over the weekend, I heard one of the boys say, "I love conference." Oh, the joy!

It is a wonderful blessing to sit electronically at the feet of living prophets and hear their counsel! I took notes, but don't have time to transcribe them here. I will cheat and refer you to Sariah's great notes! The great recurring themes seemed to me to be *be a missionary, *repent, *love, *family.

Admittedly, part of our love of conference involves feasting on more than the Word. We have strong food traditions that help us enjoy conference weekend. I make croissant breakfast sandwiches for us to eat there. Some ward used to make breakfast for their youth to encourage them to attend conference and smelled up the building. That was tough, if you came hungry or after having an inferior breakfast. (They also threw candy at them during session, I think for answering questions.) Also, if I feed the family at conference, we have a better chance of being on time. Between morning and afternoon sesssions both days, we share a picnic lunch with all the full-time missionaries in the building. This conference, we fed a dozen Elders and a pair of Sisters. They really appreciated it, too. Saturday between afternoon and Priesthood session, we go to Leatherby's for ice cream. General Conference can be hazardous to your waist.

But despite all the good food and good company that we enjoy, the heart of conference weekend is the joy of the gospel and seeing and hearing the General Authorities. Almost every time one gets up to speak, I start to think, "Oh, good, he's one of my favorites." I am delighted to see again, that these leaders, these men of God, are human, warm, and have a sense of fun and humor as well as providing words of wisdom and counsel.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One and a Two and You Know What To Do

I spent much of last evening going on to KS (young married adult in River Park Ward) about how great Scouting is and how perfectly it matches the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood. Well, he asked. He has NO Scouting background. Deprived fellow! I am sure he got more than he bargained for! He was glad to escape when someone called him to particpate in planning meals and such for Scout Expo to which he is going.

Last night Troop 40 met for the last time as we know it. They ended the evening with root beer floats and then sang the Troop 40 song. That choked me up. It's a good song:
"We put the out in Scouting, so we'll continue shouting, we are the spirit of Troop 40! We welcome all the boys and all their hopes and joys. We hold the Scouting torch on high.(high high high)" hmmm, I cannot remember the rest at the moment. Is it "Roll out the Scouting thunder! We'll win, we won't go under! We are the spirit of Troop 40! HEY !" ?

I like it because it sounds good and spirited and it speaks to what Scouting is about. The guys always sound great singing it.

(Joseph said he heard a bagpiper playing the tune once. He asked what it was and found out it is an old Irish song, maybe a national anthem? )

A few of our guys will be going to Scout Expo this weekend, then on to our new troops, whatever they are and whenever they get going.

Most of us agree in our speculation that River Park Ward will probably keep the Troop 40 name. I can think of a couple of guys that I hope get called to lead there.

Brighton Ward is Troop 740, apparently that's old La Riviera's Troop.

I told our old Scoutmaster that as Camellia City Ward pretty much singlehandedly financed the Troop, he should take custody of Troop 40's things to redistibute when we know what the new Troop set-ups are going to be. I told the Primary president the same thing about Cub stuff.

Our Scoutmaster who is now in Brighton said that his Bishop, Biship Dyck, has already activated Ward Activites and has a new ward activity/party scheduled. Awesome! Also, he is getting his YM/Scouting leadership in place and in his ward the Scoutmaster is part of the YM Presidency (as should be). I have heard nothing from or about Perkins Ward yet. I am trying not to be a little jealous. Just because I am not in the know, does not mean things are not happening in Perkins. I imagine I will learn a lot come Sunday.

I hope our new Troop can come up with a good song.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Best News!

I just got this great news from our Camellia City Ward family about our Scoutmaster's baby:
We just got home from the Oncologist.  There are soo many dead cells in the tumor samples they are having trouble getting definitive results!  What does this mean? - The tumor is breaking down on its own!  Halleluah!  The Lord heard and answered all of our prayers.
The scans showed no other tumors in the body or spine.  The bone marrow is clean.
Treatment now:  watch it.  In one month we will do more scans to see what its done- continued to break down or growth.
We love you all and thank you again for all of your prayers.  We ask that you continue to pray that the tumor breaks down on its own.