Friday, June 29, 2007

I keep hoping to have time to actually blog, but.....

Andrew had his Board of Review Tuesday and is now officially an Eagle Scout!

I had some anxious moments there. Til brought us all – Andrew, Glen,
Ben and I – no one else came (Joseph was at class, the Hinds still on
their way home from Vancouver) - before the Board at first. He told
us about failings of some of Andrew's letters - some neither signed
nor dated. No letter from the Scoutmaster who kept promising one,
but never got around to it. He had told Andrew he would bring one to
the Board of Review, but ended up going out of town. Fortunately, an
Assistant Scoutmaster wrote a letter – signed, but not dated. No
letter from your Scout leader would be a very, very bad thing and
probably would disqualify a boy. I was afraid that Andrew was going
to be turned down because of the letters not being signed and dated.
His being scolded for them was a bit much as the letter comes to the
Eagle candidate sealed and he doesn't see it until after the BoR.
Fortunately, the Bishop, Debi, and I did both date and sign. Debi
wrote a great letter) A couple of others were at least signed.

Andrew handled the pressure well and thought the actual interview he
had with the Board was pretty nice.

Now the big headache will be trying to find a time that Andrew's
siblings can make it from the north and the south. The really
challenging ones will be from the north. They HOPE to come south for
Aurora's 1st birthday at the end of July. That is 1) too soon for us
to get the Court of Honor and after party together - especially
contacting dignataries, etc, AND 2) Ben will be out of town - at
DISNEYLAND with my sisters and his cousin. (poor thing) Their next
likely visit is Thanksgiving, which is a long time for Andrew to have
to wait. I don't think they can throw another trip in between those
two. Decisions, decisions! I need to spend some time with Andrew on

quick, unimportant notes -

Thursday, June 28 - lots of green stuff

I didn't watch what I was doing this morning when I grabbed my lunch
from leftovers in the fridge. I got one container of
broccoli/cauliflower and cheese sauce from a while back and one
container of all broccolli from last night! No rice and gravy : ( .
Fortunately, I had a chicken pot pie in the freezer here at work.

If I had time and money (not even all that much money for the worth of
the product, at that), I might have gone back to where the Birthday
Club had lunch yesterday. Bud's on 10th street. The place doesn't
look like anything, - well, yes, it looks and sounds something like a
very, very small school cafeteria - but oh, boy! I had the best
roast beef sandwich! They roast their meats fresh each day. They are
not stingy with the meat, either! Heaps of roast beef that was not
cooked to death. Still juicy and a little pink. It was delicious!
$6.99, but generous serving. People who seemed to know said it was
priced comparable to Subway, but so much better, hands down.

Friday - are you sure it's the 29th and not the 13th?!

This is embarrassing. I forgot my false tooth. Front and center. At
least it is lower and not upper. No big smiles today! I look like a
hick. (more than usual)

I came into work early and thought I would get some personal computer
time before starting on the job. How does the computer know these
things?? It would NOT turn on. I wiggled and jiggled every connection
I could find. Tried turning it off and on again. NO response. I
called IT Help and they promised to send someone up. I knew it would
be something simple and embarrassing, but what else could I do. For
almost 5 minutes I didn't touch the thing. The IT guy walks in, asks
for me, and BINGO! the computer turns on! He had not come near my
desk - no one touched anything - he just walked in. Are those guys
good or what?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Soaring on Eagle's Wings

As of about 8pm Tuesday, June 26, 2007, Andrew James Robarts is an Eagle Scout!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Date with Destiny

Andrew just called. His Board of Review is Tuesday, June 26 at 7:30pm
at the Stake Center.

: )

We Cannot Do Wrong and Feel Right

I get LDS daily gems. Nice spice for the day. Sometimes I SO want to
share them with others. Usually I resist the urge to pester. Anyone
can subscribe to them if they are intersted. But I am going to share
one of today's:

"In order to have joy, you need to understand that, as a child of your
Heavenly Father, you inherited divine traits and spiritual
needs--and just like a fish needs water, you need the gospel and
the companionship of the Holy Ghost to be truly, deeply happy. Because you
are the offspring of God (see Acts 17:28), it is incompatible with your
eternal nature to do wrong and feel right. It cannot be done. It is part of
your spiritual DNA, as it were, that peace, joy, and happiness will be
yours only to the degree you live the gospel."

(Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 49)

Go to LDS E-mail Subscriptions at and select the
appropriate subscription list. You can also learn more about each list on that page.

Possible Puppy Proselyting

This morning at the dog park, Anna played with a new friend, a 2
year-old Greyhound/Shar Pei (they think) mix. Nice mix. Very

New puppy pals, new people pals.

As we chatted, it came out that I used to off-leash at East Portal
Park while my boys were in their early morning religion class. She
asked my religion. I said Mormon and she knew enough to ask how long
I had been LDS. She told me that she was looking for a faith and had
been taught for a while by the Elders. Sounds like she bought herself
a nice green four-in-one. Keeping it light and casual, I told her
that the church is good and true, that I have received personal
confirmation that it is right. Good thing I didn't get too
enthusiastic! She told me that one big turn off was that the Elders
were too pushy. Then she told me that she had trouble with Joseph
Smith. I agreed with her that it doesn't sound like something modern,
rational, scientific people usually go for. Then I shared that I find
it interesting that many people believe the Bible and accept the idea
of prophets and miracles in the Bible. I told her that I wonder why
there should be prophets and miracles then but not now. She seemed to
find that food for thought. I testified that the only way to know is
to ask. People can present all kinds of logical, sound arguments for
all kinds of things whether they are true or not, but the way for us
to know is to seek for a witness of truth.

It was time for me to go then. Good, leave them wanting more, not
wanting you to leave!

She is worried about Joseph Smith. I wonder about a comment she made
about herself and her best friend being dorky lesbians. How much of a
problem will this present if she decides to investigate further? Not
to worry, I am sure the Lord can handle it.

I hope to see her again. Both Anna and I enjoyed our new pals.

Tom Terrific

What a guy!

Tom spent all day Monday getting us set up with an AC wall unit. He
mapped out our circuit breakers, tested the old non-working AC,
rewired the plug, brought an old unused AC wall unit from his garage
and put it in which required some re-fitting because our old one was
bigger. It doesn't take long to write, but it was a LOT of work.
It's a small AC and won't cool the whole house, but it will make a
wonderful difference for us, I am sure. And will be a big help until
I can manage to get a bigger unit. There goes my electric bill! We
are going to try to use it judiciously.

Then he worked all day yesterday on my front door. Our old wood door
was so worn around the knob that it didn't' hold the knob or lock
correctly. Difficult to shut and once shut, neither lockable nor
easily opened. For a short while now we have been living with a
front door sans door knob. The security door (and Anna) relieved us
of any concern about walk-ins and the weather has been mild, so we
didn't mind too much that the door wouldn't stay closed. But that
just couldn't go on. The temperatures hit triple digits and we wanted
the door shut. With our trip for Acadia's baptism and Anna staying
with a friend, we needed a door. As the check-out gal at Home Depot
said, installing a door is an experience! The job is not completely
done – that weird expanding foam has to be trimmed, the door trim has
to be put back and the security door put back up. But! We have a
front door that closes and locks, with a deadbolt, too. A pretty one
at that, with a half circle window near the top.

We so appreciate all Tom's hard work and Ruth and the kids letting him
spend valuable vacation time helping us!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

8 is Great

My oldest grandchild, Acadia is 8 years old today! next weekend we
will be at her baptism.

Scout movie night was a lot of fun. Most all of the chairs were
filled. Still, that was only probably about 70+ people. We grossed
$216 in sales, but I have no idea what we are going to pay out for
refreshments. Brother T did the buying. He spent well over $100,
maybe $150 or more, but I don't know how much he is going to turn in.
We had a lot of hot dogs and stuff left over, I bought a bag of
chips. He says they will feed the day care kids a lot of hot dogs.
So, we shall see.

The car wash raised $150 dollars, but between 11 Scouts.... Andrew
and Ben worked the longest and each earned just under $16.

No get rich quick scheme.

At dinner today Tom, speaking, I believe, as Bishopric Counselor, told
me that after all we can do, the budget is supposed to cover any boy
who doesn't have the money. (They may release me for this)

Tom is on vacation. He is going to see if he can do something about
the AC wall unit tomorrow! He says it is a small unit, so it isn't
going to cool the entire house, but if we can cool down the family
room - oh what a difference! and I am sure it will help the rest of
the house some. There goes my electric bill! I told the boys that
they cannot turn it on unless it is over 95ยบ. They said inside or
outside? outside. I bet they find a thermometer and put in on cement
in the sun.

Tom also said he will put up my door. when I get it. Which I need to
borrow their car to do. Or ask him to go with me.

We love Tom. And appreciate his generous help!

I also got a lot of "help" in home design. I asked for ideas for the
kitchen, color mostly really. something of a mistake. Ideas
everywhere from Mr McGregors garden to a desert, to a dark cave. In
reality, I am thinking more and more of white painted cabinets and
white appliances. What color the walls? Still working on it. The
living room and dining room are probably going to be a sage or moss
green. I want the kitchen to fit, but I don't know if I want it
green, too. And what kind of counters. Well, it will be a good while
before we get to it. Plenty of time to consider.

Joseph told me that he just read about a 73 year old farmer in India
who has vowed not to get married until he passes the high school exam.
He has failed 38 times. He has taken the exam every year since 1969.
(Do you think maybe he really doesn't want to get married?) ( I hope
he isn't planning on having many children.) He wants to marry a girl under 30. (A particular girl or a girl to be picked later?? If a particular girl, What does she think? Must be a girl to be picked later, she wasn't born when he started this.)

The high point of Stake Conference today was when President Fisher
prayed a special personal blessing on a High Councilman and his family
who just lost a son in Iraq and then on the conference attendees. I
wish I could remember the words, but I do remember the feeling of
power and love.

I am supposed to be planning a Court of Honor for TUESDAY. So far,
not much here. Back to work.

Friday, June 15, 2007

"health food"

Yesterday Lisa asked me if I liked Pirates or Simpsons. I told her I
don't do Simpsons. She gave me a Captain Jack Sparrow cookie from
7-11. She has them all over her cubicle. Not really edible,
certainly NOT worth the calories - just for "decoration". This
morning I found Homer Simpson on my desk. Sean had Bart. While I was
puzzling over what to do with Homer, Lisa came by to chat. I
confessed that I am not a fan and reminded her that she had already
given me Jack. (Not really a flattering likeness, but it's the thought
that counts, right?). She took Homer away to give to someone else.
If she has her way, everyone will have one of these cookies at their
cubicle. I hope they are securely wrapped in their plastic wrap. We
already have a roach problem. (Captain Jack is leaning against Ben's

Speaking of cookies! Dave W is transferring out of our unit. This
morning, his last here, he brought wonderful big chocolate chip
cookies. They disappeared immediately. Later, the office had a
good-bye party – pizza, cookies, cake, ice cream. I stayed out with
the phones, but someone brought me a slice of pizza. I guess the
ice cream went pretty well, too. After afternoon break, they brought
out 3 boxes of cookies/brownie bites and a few plates of cake slices
and put them on the front counter in front of my desk. Sometimes it
smells heavenly. Sometimes it is so overwhelming as to be almost
nauseating. So far, I have resisted, while urging it on others, "What
would you like besides a couple of cookies?" "You cannot have your
travel check unless you take a piece of cake."

Tonight, is Scout movie night. Dinner is Hot dog, nachos & soda. All
in the name of supporting our scouts.

I keep hearing Cookie Monster in my head.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

things are heating up

I have been neglecting my duties. (oh, that's a long list!) This
time I mean as Scout Committee Chair. Somehow I have ignored the
coming of summer – and summer camp. I knew it was coming, but it just
didn't get my attention. I sort of assumed that somebody else would
keep me informed. (as, I THINK in years past) Unfortunately, all
parties have been distracted by personal business and no one checked
on anyone. Camp fees are past due and only one of our Scouts has
enough money in his account to pay. A couple of others are close, but
most of the guys….. well, it's not good.

Finally, we are shifting into gear to earn some money. I hope it
works! Friday, the troop is sponsoring a movie night. We are
showing "The Paper Brigade" for free (with the kind permission of
Feature Films for Families) and selling refreshments – hot dogs,
nachos, soda, popcorn, and cookies baked by the Scouts themselves.
The fellow who is doing our purchasing made a face when I reminded him
to turn in his receipts, so the boys may make more than they deserve
to. (Bob T. is a good and generous man)

We are also finally doing some car washes. This Saturday (the 16th),
the 30th, and July 7th.

When will I EVER find time to do any work around my house?????

I really need to do SOME things. Like replace the front door before
we leave for Vancouver. The door around the knob is so beat up and
worn that it doesn't hold the knob correctly. It won't line up with
the lock, is difficult to shut and nearly impossible to open. We took
the knob out. Now it won't stay shut. As the weather has been mild,
we have a "security" screen door (only one of those locks works) and a
dog, I have felt no terrible urgency. But now, the weather is
officially hot and both we and the dog will be away. We need the
door. Again, I wish that I had bought that van. I cannot get a door
in the Cavalier! Of course, I am not sure that we can properly
install the door, either. I think that not quite proper alignment is
why we can only use one lock on the security door.

Another thing that really must get done soon is get together with Tom
and find out if his old AC wall unit will work in our house. We can
barely function when the weather gets hot.

Then I have to find out if the money borrowed from house fix-it money
is going to be replaced and figure out what we are going to do about
this-house-should-be-condemned repairs.

Decisions, decisions….

As you know, I have been working like crazy to earn the time to go to
Vancouver for my firstborn grandchild's baptism. As of today, I only
have half an hour to earn for my two days off. I should get that

Now the tempting thought. If I work continue to work an extra hour
every day (except tomorrow - Scout Movie Night), I can just about earn
another day off which my boss will ok IF my desk is current. It's
"year end" and everything for this fiscal year has to be processed.
(a little insane) The little bit of make -up time left at the end of
the month, I can do in July. The big question here is having my work
all up to date. (You would think with all the time I have been
putting in... but things are crazy here. Several people are working
some Saturdays. I think I am invited, but I have Scout commitments.
What I sacrifice for these boys!)

Then, if I can work out the dog sitter, and if we think the cat and
birds will be alright for yet another day, AND if we can work out
David and Teresa having access to the house - do the boys and I want
to travel Thursday and join the Mt St Helen's group Friday?

A lot of ifs. (no promises)

Friday, June 8, 2007

paying - utility bills & "debt to society"

There have been several things I wanted to talk about today, but I
have been so busy, and now I scarcely remember.

At work – oh, happy day! Today I actually got to process invoices for
payment! Lately, between ORF checks and researching problems, I have
been lucky if I could do one batch of invoices in a day. Today I did
6 ! Not that I am caught up, but now I have a 3 day old stack instead
of a week or two. I still have a big "problem" pile. Some of them
waiting for responses, but several I need to work on.

Poor Paris has been all over the airwaves. The judge hauled her back
into court this morning and ordered her to serve time in real jail AND
and jacked it back to the original 45 days. Of course, she does
already have 5 days credit. She was taken from the court crying for
her mother. Personally, I think that there's something to that. Her
folks deserve jail time for raising such a pathetic, spoiled danger to
herself and society. Not that I blame her for being upset about going
back to jail. Jail is not fun. On top of serving the time, there is
the processing that prisoners have to go through every time they come
into the jail. Humiliating and uncomfortable to say the least! Bad
for anybody. What a shock for someone who has been coddled and
pampered all her life. But I don't have much sympathy for her not
liking the jail food, or accommodations. I hope that this experience
teaches her some of the lessons her parents failed to teach her about
being responsible for your own actions. And maybe give her an idea
that there are other people in the world. Wouldn't that be something
if she actually made friends with some of the inmates? They could
certainly teach her a thing or two – some of which would be very good
for her and some, of course, very much not.

No time, no time

Thursday, June 7, 2007

It's no shame to be poor, but it's no great honor either! - Tevya

Lots of reasons to feel poor today. Paris Hilton just bought out of a
well-deserved jail sentence for drunk driving, driving on a suspended
license, I don't know what all. Sentenced to 45 days, they halved it
to 23. She checked in at her own good pleasure a minute before
midnight Sunday (after an awards show and party) and got checked out
because of a "medical condition" on minute after midnight today. She
gets credit for 5 days in jail. Now she is on house arrest in her
mansion. Poor thing. Some regular gal called Armstrong and Getty and
said she missed a court date for drunk driving and the police came,
cuffed and arrested her even though she was on medical bedrest for a
threatened pregancy. Whether because of her jail time or not she
didn't say, but she lost the baby. No big name and big money. Her
medical condition didn't matter. I am feeling a little cynical or
something and mildly(MILDLY??) covetous. Some day, everything will
be right and fair, but that someday is a long ways away. Not that I
would want Paris's life!!!! Just money. (greedy hand rubbing)

I know money doesn't by happiness, but it buys something. One gal at
my office goes clothes shopping every weekend. No kids. She has a
regular size bedrooom as her personal walk-in closet, plus closet
space in the master bedroom. She often speaks of trips here and
there. She was inviting another coworker to some vacation cabin they
have, too. One of the guys sold his horses because they were just too
much trouble and often mentions trips, his spa, etc. Of course, he
complains that he can hardly wait for the last kid to move out.

I would not be partying and buying off the law, or filling rooms with
clothes I don't need. I might have horses. ; ) I would like to
repair the wholes in the walls of my house, not worry about my old
age, spend time with my kids.

Of course, there are some people here in the office who also admit to
shopping at thrift stores and bring lunch from home rather buy out.

But I have my kids.

Now, who's the rich one??!!!

some people's children!

Yesterday, the YM had football and hotdogs. My guys knew they were
eating there, they were bringing hot dogs. Still, Ben called to
check how to make white sauce, because they were cooking up some pasta
and sauce for me for my dinner to be ready when I got home. Isn't
that sweet?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

counting some of my blessings

MY children ARE a joy and a blessing.

Daily I see people whose children are a challenge and/or a sorrow.
My children are not perfect, but they are good. Not only are they NOT
major lawbreakers, addicts, or bloodsuckers, my children are
appreciative, supportive,and loving. Fun and funny, too. My
children-in-law, as well. I know people who dread going home from
work because of their family. I know people who have grown children
who have not only come back home for help, but now want to take it
over and try to dictate the rules. People who dread every phone call
because it is another problem. Not a "what do we do because Jared
wants to keep brushing his teeth and cries when we take the
toothbrush" problem, but problems that involve the law or large sums
of money or substance abuse or physcial abuse. I am thankful that has
never been the case with my children. Thanks, kids! (Keep up the
good life)

another great blessing - I think I have told you before that my job is
a real blessing. I am confident that a loving Heavenly Father arranged
it for me. I won't go into the details again now, but believe me, I
am blessed. More good news. You know I took Accounting 301, courtesy
of the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation,
particularly the good graces of my boss's boss. . I will be taking
the next class this fall - same set-up. There is a 3rd class after
that which would then qualify me to test for a higher classification
(Account Tech) with the State. Good chance our department will also
sponsor that. All the while I have been thinking, "Wow, I could
really use a promotion (and more money!), but I would hate to leave
this office." My boss told me yesterday that they hope to phase out
the lowly clerk positions and make them Account Tech positions. Their
master plan is to educate, keep and promote us! Is that great or

Now, back to work at this blessing of a job.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I know where I'm going

"Don't we turn on Folsom?" Debi asked as we approached the fine
boulevard when her car was ready for pick-up.

"Yes, I know where I'm going." I confidently replied.

"Isn't my car that way?" she queried pointing left as I manuevered
into the right hand lane.

"No, it's this way." I turned firmly east toward the Chevron statioh
she was fortunate to reach after a tire blew out.

OOOPS! U-turn! Redirect our path toward the Big-O Tire Store WEST of
65th where we had taken the car after some good Samaritans put on her

I knew Big-O was a little hard to see from this approach, but
remembered that it came immediately after a restaurant. As I aimed for
Taco Bell, she said, "It's right here!" oh, after that Italian
restaurant with the Spanish seeming name.

You would not believe that only a few hours earlier I had driven right
to it without misstep. Maybe it was the delightful, distracting Debi.
Yes, let's blame her.

That's what she gets for hiring cheap help. Cheap help! This help
actually paid her! I owed her $18 for a Pampered Chef order. As
neither of us could make change, I gave her a twenty. So, she came
out ahead. Unless you count the $600+ for a new set of tires.