Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Life is not an exact science, it is an art. Samuel Butler, the younger

I do wish I were a better artist!

My youngest flew to Disneyland and returned safely. We were both a
bit nervous about him traveling alone, but my sisters arrived in
Orange County before him and departed after him, so he was not on
alone while away except for his flights. Of course he had a great
time. The other guys and I are only mildly jealous. At least not
more jealous that we didn't go than happy that he did. He brought us
back momentos that assured us that he really did think of us while off
enjoying himself. Very sweet. He even brought back most of the food
money I sent with him. He spent his own money first. Good,
responsible, unselfish lad.

Ben has returned home to the "glad" tidings that the troop has chosen
him as its new Senior Patrol Leader. Naturally. The last SPL moved
away, leaving our troop with only 3 Life Scouts, 2 of which have
already served terms as SPL. It is a big job. Plan, organize and
lead the Troop meetings and try to keep the boys in line. I rather
expected him to be in a bit of a mood after the Scoutmaster came over
and gave him the good news. Instead, I found him full of plans and
ideas how to utilize the boys in various troop positions, thinking
about the boys, their needs and their talents. I think he will be a
fine leader.

Andrew has begun receiving mail from various people of note
congratulating him on becoming an Eagle Scout. The first one was from
former President Carter. Actually, that is not true, we count as the
first one, a letter from Elder Larson, servant of the Lord, friend,
Eagle Scout and legendary former SPL. He didn't seem to care if I
wrote to dignitaries on his behalf, but now he does seem to be a
little tickled to get their notes. It is rather fun.

Ben came home. Hinds, having purchased their own, returned HP7 (Harry
Potter and the Deathly Hallows – on the remote chance you didn't
know). Rather than wait for Reading Club which he wanted to wait for
him and did, he glommed on to the book and had himself a read-a-thon.
Now Andrew has it. Joseph and I are still waiting. What happened to
reading it together???!!! What happened to the person who actually
went out and bought and paid for the book getting to read it?! Sigh.
People keep dropping hints and spoilers. The up side is, everyone
seems to like it.

Maybe I feel a fever coming on. I need to stay in bed. Maybe just
read a little rest and light reading.
No. No time for that.

Babysat Tuffy last weekend while her folks went and got themselves a
daughter-in-law. (And Ben was away. I really missed him!) Nice dog,
but not my type. Helps me appreciate my own dog. Except today. For
no apparent reason, Anna turned on a dog (German Shepherd or shepherd
mix) that wanted to either play with her or play with the ball she was
chasing. She was downright nasty. End of playtime for her. I would
have taken her home, but just then my friend, Carolin, arrived, so I
just kept Anna on lead.

Other sad dog news. No more Anna and Chloe weekend play dates. Debi
has decided that it costs too much gas to come to my dog park, so she
is going to take Chloe to the Elk Grove Park. Not only do I think
that costs too much gas for me, but I often meet up with friends on
the weekend, and I like my Granite Regional Dog Park better. Except I
hear they have an obstacle course new since I visited there. Might
want to check that out some time. I tell Debi to bring Chloe to keep
Anna company when we have Sunday dinner, but so far, she hasn't gone
for it.

doggone it, time's up!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Simple Pleasures

Saturday, was Esther's birthday party. Kids splashed in a whale
pool/fountain, went "fishing" for guest gifts, colored, and played
with bubbles. I spent much of the time chatting with her other
grandmother, "Nana." Ruth made a wonderful cake that looked like an
undersea rocks/coral ledge with flowers on it which Esther's Arial
doll sat on. Looked great and tasted good, too. We also enjoyed hot
dogs, watermelon, goldfish, and blue jello with gummy fish.

It was especially nice to see Esther and Jared having such a grand
time, because they had been sick earlier in the week.

Saturday was also the big day for Harry Potter fans.
I did not reserve an advance copy.
I did not stand in line at midnight.
I pretended to myself that I was not even sure I was going to get it.
Regretted again, the leaving of the Larsons - no borrowing, no sneak
But, I didn't mind going to Costco Saturday to get more almonds for
the front desk at work, granola bars for the guys, etc, etc, and oh,
yes, just see if Harry was in. He was. I got Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows, book # 7! The check out clerk said almost everyone
has gotten it.

As soon as I got it home, "discussion" arose. Ben wanted first dibs.
First, he mentioned long lonely waits at the airport. What?!
Disneyland and Harry Potter while the rest of us poor stiffs stay
home??!! Then he was unhappy that we might read it without him. He
wanted to get first and read all night – like so many Potter fans.
Somewhere in all the discussion, Joseph hid the book. We all have to
wait. sigh. Then we decided, somewhat reluctantly, to let the Hinds
borrow it first.

Debi has had Chloe a couple of weeks now and both of the last two
weekends our dogs met at the dog park. Sunday was especially cute.
Debi and Chloe arrived first. Chloe was a bit shy with the other
dogs. Thinking about playing with them, but then backing off. When
Anna arrived, as Debi said, "the little devil came out." She was
jumping all over Anna, chewing her ears, nipping at her legs, and
"wrestling her to the ground." That wasn't enough. Kayla, a German
shepherd, started wrestling and playing with Anna, too, so they
double-teamed Anna. Oh, poor Anna, sure! She loved being the center
of attention. Debi says after the dog park, both she and Chloe go
home and take a nap. Actually, Chloe is pretty tired all day. She's
just a baby still.

Yesterday Ben flew all by himself to Orange County where he met up
with my sisters and his cousin Adam for a week at Disneyland! We were
both nervous, but of course, he arrived safely and they were waiting
for him at the gate. They want to see the San Diego temple (I think
that one) and went to church with a singles ward. Last night he
called home just as we were getting ready for family prayer, so we did
prayer and scriptures together. Decided not to do Reading Club,
though. They are so close to Disneyland that we could clearly hear
the fireworks over the phone! We probably won't have family prayer
together the rest of the week, as he will be at Disneyland watching
the fireworks! I miss him and am a little jealous, but I am thrilled
for him.

Not such a pleasure - It used to be that if you didn't bother Kaiser,
they didn't bother you. Not any more, at least not for me. Concerned
letters and even phone calls. One can only fly under the radar so
long. I had hoped that removing certain stresses in my life would
lead to better health. Well, although in many ways life is much
better, there are challenges and stresses. My numbers have not gotten
better, rather the opposite. I finally went in and did my labs
Saturday. More meds. Sigh. I am not thrilled, but I suppose I am

Now I need to earn my keep.

Friday, July 13, 2007

blah blog

Not much time to blog and not all that much to blog about.

I get up and get ready for work, take my dog to the dog park, bring
her home and feed her, go catch light rail to work. With Seminary out
for the summer, I do these things at a less frantic pace. During
Seminary, I throw the boys and dog out of the car as I rush to catch
light rail and Ben feeds the dog. I have experimented a bit with
having breakfast at home and catching a later train in, but it doesn't
really work. So, I try to catch an early train and eat at my desk.
Sometimes I have a few minutes for personal business, or I start early
and give myself a longer lunch. I am trying to walk more, as I had
gotten down to hardly walking at all, and I NEED to walk.

I essentially have 3 hours in the evening between getting home and
time for Family Prayer. It sounds like a decent amount of time, but
it goes too fast and by then I am going slow. First, there's dinner.
If there are no meetings, there is plenty for me to do, if I still
have energy. Usually, it seems I make feeble attempts to accomplish
something, then suddenly realize the evening is over.

Not a lot of exciting/interesting things to write about.

Here's the latest excitements:

First, a distinct lack of excitement. Andrew and Benjamin are at
Scout camp this week. The house is pretty quiet. Anna hangs out with
Joseph, but he's, well, quiet. Camp Lassen is a great camp. They
should be having a fine time. I hope.

I met my "grandpuppy", Debi's new Dane, Chloe, Wednesday. She is a
lovely and surprisingly decorous dog – at the ripe old age of 3
months. - Excitement! We have a Puppy Play Date Saturday morning.

Joseph and I (mostly Joseph) babysat Hinds while the parents went to
see Harry Potter (they liked it). Not much time with the kids,
though. I got over there in time to help put an unhappy little boy to
bed. The remaining 3 of us shared pizza. After Esther went to bed,
Joseph and I tried to find Camp Lassen on satellite hybrid Google
maps. We THINK we found it. Then we looked at our house – OLD
picture, Debi's new place – all undeveloped land, but roads and
construction equipment in a field a few blocks away, Sariah's place
and the hiking trail behind it. I didn't have Miriam's address handy
so we didn't spy on her or on David. The way some people talk about
satellite imagery, I expected to be able to see my children come out
and wave, but we didn't have that kind of quality. Too far out, a
little fuzzy, and like I said, not current.

Recently, at work a distraught and distressed young lady asked if we
had seen a black purse or activity at the desk she has been using -
right across from me. Her purse was missing – stolen! I suggested
she call Security. No one in the proximity had any idea how. She
went off with a solicitous co-worker. I went to consult with my boss.
Someone asked, are you sure it's not a prank? I went back to the
cubicle to do "another" search. The first shelf I opened, wa la! A
black purse! Of course, now the young woman is gone and none of us
right there knew her name. Sean knew that her mother also works in
our building, but not either woman's name. Slap forehead! I know her
name, or rather, I can find it, it's in her purse. Just as I learned
that she is Victoria, in she came. Purse and peace of mind restored.

I am sure there have been more wonderful and exciting events in my
fascinating recent life, but at the moment I cannot think of them and
I have (a lot of) work to do.

Lucky 13

13 of the many reasons I am a lucky woman

1. testimony of Jesus Christ, His restored gospel, and membership in
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2. citizen of the United States of America
3. 8 wonderful children
4. 3 terrific children-in-law
5. 4 delightful grandchildren
6. true friends and kindred spirits
7. a good dog
8. a good job working for the great state of California and her beautiful parks
9. fully functioning, fairly healthy body
10. modern day technology and conveniences
11. my home
12. association with the fine Scouts of BSA Troop 40
13. I live on the Pacific Coast in the beautiful and varied state of California


Do you have Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Can you say it?

What if you (like me) like Friday the 13th ? (I think it is fun)
Does that make you (and I) a friggatriskaidekaphile?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cool Early Birthday Present

Sariah sent down their portable AC with the Hinds when they came home
from visiting for Acadia's baptism. She told me that it is an early
birthday present. Cool!

Thank you, Rosers!!! Also, thank you Hinds, for transporting it!

At first we were puzzled how to set it up as we have no slider
windows for the vent, but we decided to send the hot air up the
chimney. We cut a hole for the vent hose in a big piece of cardboard
and blocked off the fireplace. Presently, we are running an extension
cord from the garage and cannot plug in the washer and the AC at the
same time, but some sacrifices must be made.

Actually, I don't think that we have used the AC except as a test run
because it came to our house AFTER we survived 108 degrees and I have
told the boys to set the AC for 88 to conserve electricity. (Actually
I told them 90, but the machine set itself to 88 instead) Maybe we
will revise that, we'll see. I was thinking about it the other day
when the living room was 85, but I resisted.

Oh, the adventures. Silly us tested the venting up the chimney theory
before we cleaned out the fireplace. We did not completely block off
the fireplace. Wow! As Andrew said, Combination air condtioning and
smoke screen! Much better after we (as in Andrew, good lad) cleaned
out the fireplace. Kudos to Joseph for thinking of the chimney and
figuring out how to set it up.

We feel much better just knowing that we have the AC unit to use at need!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I was baffled by #3, though.

3. I like jury duty.

It's true. Generally the words "jury duty" are accompanied by groans, but I like jury duty.

Not the sit in an over-crowded jurors' room while soap operas play on TVs which you can neither see nor hear very well anyway part of jury duty. The part where you actually get inside a court room. Even just the jury selection process can be interesting.

First and most importantly, I am grateful for our jury system which needs citizen jurors to work. For the most part, my admittedly limited experience serving on juries has increased my respect for the judicial system. Like most of our government, it is not perfect, but it just might be the best thing going on earth. And it needs us - regular, decent, honest citizens. I think that if I had to be before a jury, I would want people like me to be on it. Not necessarily people who think the way I do (although I am sure I would mostly be fine with that!), but honest people who want to be just. I have served on 3 jury trials (and was a juror on one that didnt' go all the way to trial) and mostly I felt the jurors were trying to do right.

I also think the judicial system is interesting. People, the law, the predicaments people get into are all interesting. Some cases are amusing, some are educational. It is true, some are distressing and disturbing. I think perhaps those are the ones that especially need good citizens to serve. I am fortunate not to have much experience with really serious and disturbing trials. Well, my last case was somewhat. I was quite disappointed in that jury as well. But, because both sides stood our ground and refused to back down from what we thought was right, we had a hung jury. Which is really good news. (As opposed to the other side prevailing, anyway.) The attorneys learned a bit from us, as well as we from them, in our informal after trial meeting. The case was going to be tried again - hopefully with some important corrections. Perhaps justice was served.

Not very importantly, jury duty offers a change of pace. Somewhat importantly, gives me a glimpse into other lives, often leaving me grateful for my own dull, peaceful, blessed existence.

Is it surprising that I like jury duty? Many people seem to find legal cases interesting - police and law shows as well as those "Judge So-and-So" shows are ever popular.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Copying from Muum and in honor of today's lucky 7s -

7 things about me :

1 I am the oldest child and oldest daughter to at least the 3rd power. Myself, my mother, and her mother (I am pretty sure about Grandma'Rora - need to do some research). My bio-father was also the oldest child (but sadly lacked some oldest child qualities)

2. I am left handed (and therefore in my right mind?). It is rather nice for left and right handed people to date and wed because then they can easily hold hands while eating.

3. I like jury duty.

4. Although I want to be good and try to be good, I struggle with the 7 deadly sins.

5. Two more deadly sins - procrastination and conflict avoidance.

6. I am a boring person, which. while not generally unpleasant to live, is a real handicap for things like this, conversations, and letter writing.

7. I like to shower, then soak - with a book IF I have time.

Heads up, 7-up. Would you like to play?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Vancouver Weekend

Now that I am not trying to earn time off, I keep thinking that I
will have a few minutes before work to catch up on email and perhaps
even blog. But if the computer doesn't act up, the job looks for me.
Co-works and phone calls. Still….

I wanted to tell you about our lovely weekend in Vancover, WA - two
weeks ago now! - -Where does the time go? (I saw a movie in grade
school once that said, Time goes to Grand Canyon.) -- We went up for
Acadia's baptism which was absolutely delightful.

The boys and I drove up and back, so that was all day Friday and all
day Monday. They are pleasant traveling companions and for the most
part we enjoyed the trip. We all agreed that it would be more fun
with time and money to make a two day trip of it each way, however.
We probably should have eaten a bit less junk food, too. ; ) At the
baptism, people told us that we should visit Crater Lake - it's not
far from the freeway. Someone told Andrew 45 minutes. ha! We took
an exit for Crater Lake, then checked our navigator - problaby more
like 2 hours - each way We turned around. Maybe someday on one of
those 2 day drives up.

When I am at Rosers, Simon (their dog) and I usually go for an early
morning walk. Their house has a park behind it and is right by the
trail head of a walking/biking trail. Lovely! Saturday by the time
we got going we had collected all 4 grandchildren and my boys, Joseph,
Andrew and Benjamin. That shortened the distance, but increased some
of the fun. We would have liked to have done the same thing Sunday,
but it was raining. In fact, the tent we were in leaked due to being
put up not quite properly. Monday, I was just too lazy and anxious to
hit the road. Poor Simon.

Some of us went to the Portland temple Saturday morning. Later Saturday,
we had a nice family BBQ. I got to see relatives that I don't get to
see very often – my sister Kris and her boy Adam (Ben is going to
Disneyland with them and my other sister Elaine later this month), my
brother Michael and his wife Debi, my niece Sarah and nephew Taylor,
and a quick hello to their mom, my former sister-in-law and her
wonderful "new" husband. Is that everyone? We ate delicious food and
had a good time visiting. Sariah did a great job housing and feeding
us all. 18 people for the weekend.

Oh, the boys and I gave Acadia a pair of camouflage pants and a cute
orange top to match it. We made sure that each of the boys had on
their camo clothes and I had on my camouflage T-shirt when she opened
it. fun She looked really cute in the new outfit. Of course, she is
a really cute girl.

The high point of the weekend was Acadia's baptism Sunday evening.
All of her aunts and uncle on her mom's side (my kids) were there and
we all participated. I cannot remember who all did what, but Teresa
and Sariah each played the piano, Miriam led the music, Ruth gave a(n
excellent) talk on baptism and renewing our covenants with the
Sacrament. I talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and talked
about a few times that I have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost in
my life. All the worthy priesthood holders stood in on her
confirmation. There was a wonderfully sweet spirit and Acadia was

It was a great weekend.