Thursday, February 28, 2008

“I dote on his very absence.” William Shakespeare

Sometimes I really like Shakespeare. He does have a way with words.
Every now and then someone asks me for an update on He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I am not the best person to ask. I don't know much nor care more.
Typical Q and A:
Q - I heard that Glen is engaged...true???
A - True, and Possibly Not
He announced his engagement shortly before Thanksgiving to a lady he met at the first singles dance he attended. They came to the family Thanksgiving Dinner. Ingrid seemed nice. They had intended to marry Dec 15, but 1) found out they couldn't just run off to the temple, and 2) the kids had a meeting with him saying that they were concerned it was too fast and that it was sending a poor message to the grandkids about the importance of marriage. Christmas, his gift the the kids was a letter about her and their intentions to marry, also about his plans to improve his financial habits. More recently, I have heard the rumor that they are possibly re-considering. However, when we do our twice a month family Sunday dinner planning - exchanging emails about the menu and assignments, he always says, "We will bring..." but shows up alone. She has done him great good already by getting him going to Debtors Anonymous.
Q - do you feel…and how are you?
A - I feel sorry for her, but she is a grown up person and apparently she has some idea of his financial problems. She doesn't know how he treated us, but .... Honestly, she seems to be a better counselor for him than I was. I certainly don't feel jealous. I don't want him or much of anything to do with him. I sometimes resent the things he has messed up in my life, but like I remind the kids, our happiness and success in life has nothing to do with his. We don't need him to be less happy in order for us to have a good life.
I think he is going too fast. But I don't really care what he does. As long as I get my alimony check and when he retires, my share of his retirement - and no liability for his debts.
I was afraid that in part of her helping him become a better person, he would start wanting to see the boys more, but he pretty much ignores their existence as much as he did when he was home. I suppose they will have to go to the Father - Son Outing with him, but he has not made any real effort to communicate with or spend time with them. (to their relief)
Life is pretty good. Although it has been over a year, I still have trouble with being a working mom. That is something I rather do resent. Then I remind myself that I had the blessing of being at home for over 30 years. I am so glad not to have to face this with young children. It is hard enough when my "baby" is 15! I am not nearly the mother I ought to be. Of course, I was never a perfect mom! But working does take its toll. As far too many women know.
Since I have to work, I am really blessed to have the job I do.
Also, some news –
He got the 2006 taxes filed, refund back, and gave me my share. I am hoping to get a camera, although, maybe I should bank it until I know whether I owe for 2007.
And rumor – I heard through the grapevine that he might sell his Prius, buy a less expensive car, and pay back part of the money he owes the house. I don't know what I think about that. Whether it is the best thing to do fiscally or not. And whether he thinks giving me the money he gets from this deal will take completely care of that debt of honor. (Probably not even close.)
So, it sounds to me that in some ways, G is doing much better. Hopefully, in many ways. Although he is not included in my long list of personal "please bless"-s, I do not wish him ill. (at least not MOST of the time) Once in awhile, I mention in my prayers that "you can bless him if you want to," because sometimes it seems like I am praying for everyone I know except him and I feel guilty. ; )

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sometimes Change Is Good

Ben was less than delighted when they closed his old Seminary class. However, for the most part, he has been delighted with his first week in the new one. The new teacher is, as near as I can tell from Ben's report, close to return missionary age. He is interesting and fun.

To my delight, this instructor dismisses class before 7:15. Even if Ben stays behind to recite a scripture, I generally have time to catch the earlier train and get to work by 8. My official work hours are 8:30-5 with a half hour lunch. With this new schedule, I may ask for a half hour shift earlier.

Fridays they don't get refreshments like with Bro. F, but they play games. Generally somewhat studies based. Ben seems quite happy with the trade-off. Last week they played a game that sounds like a cross between Taboo and Hot Potato ( I forgot what it's called.) You tried to get your team to guess a word or phrase. As soon as you succeed, you hand off to the other team. Whichever team is it when the timer goes off gets a penalty. Ben had a great time.

I don't know happened to the old Jr-Sr class teacher, but Bro. F is in there now. He lets out considerably later. There have only been 4 classes, but one by one students are drifting over to the younger class. Friday, there were 3 older students in the younger class. That might be partly by driver request because of the scheduling. Something I am considering for next year.

There are over a dozen students in Ben's class. He does miss the intimacy of the 3 Nephite class, but, on the other hand, team games were not an option. And he is getting to know youth from other wards.

Speaking of a social life. This weekend was scheduled for an ward YM overnighter at Rancho Seco with fishing and canoeing. Wet and windy weather being predicted, the leaders opted out and changed it to a Chili Dinner and movie night - Saints and Soldiers. When they were finally done with that, Ben called to say that they were coming home for family prayer and scriptures, but they wanted to go to Foell's to play Risk after. For myself, I was reluctant, but for them I was glad they were invited. They were willing to walk the 3 blocks, but I was more willing to go out and drive them over than to worry about them. They decided to spend the night there rather than wake me up at 3 or 4 to get them or to walk home which I don't want in the wee hours. Good thing. On the way home, I saw "police activity." This is not the worst neighborhood, but it is not the best. Last week a guy died in gang related activity.

When they canceled the overnighter, I thought we would work on our painting project today. The game overnighter has pretty much kiboshed that. They will sleep all morning and then goof off again. Who knows when or in what condition they will be ready to come home. Sariah used to go to spend "a" night at a friend's house, then make the daily call until she nearly stayed a week. Once in a while, the same thing happened in reverse. The boys only have today, but still. So, by the time they come home, I will be tired and the room will be getting dark. We have no light source other than sunlight while we are painting. I may have to call them home before they are ready. Another big storm is going to hit this afternoon/evening and some hatches need re-battening.

I have plenty to do without the painting. More tax prep work and then I need to figure out HOW to do my taxes. This is my first time doing my taxes in over 30 years (man! I am OLD) and with all the recent changes in my life, I hardly know what is what. I cannot afford to cheat myself. I also have a stack of Accounting homework to do. There is absolutely endless amounts of cleaning and sorting to be done. I probably need to go to the grocery store, but I haven't taken stock yet. Sunday dinner might just be whatever. I need to get tarps and bungie cords for previously mentioned hatch battening.

And I seriously need some down time as I feel dangerously close to breaking down. My former was notoriously not good at taking care of much of anything on the home front, but because I maintained the delusion that he should/would, I felt less personal responsibility. Now, although the boys will help as directed, the burden is all mine. Work, house, homemaking (hah!), food, church, Cub Scouts, etc etc. I feel under constant pressure. I am coming to the realization that I am going to have to schedule more me time. So far, the only me time is when I go to one of Ruth's Stamping workshop. That is not enough and I need time when I am not going and doing. And sometimes going and doing other relaxing fun things - when I can remember what they are!

OH, and I seriously need to find time, energy, desire and some acceptable (to me) form of exercise. Sitting at a desk all day is not good. Getting the munchies there all day is worse. Healthy food is not as easy, convenient or satisfying as unhealthy food. Oh, I can think of plenty of healthy-ish food I would love to munch, but it is harder to get, prepare and keep. Healthy food tends to need to be fresh, refrigerated and cut up. It is the shopping and cutting time that really get me. Dried fruit is good.

Life is so much better than it was a year ago, but I still have to learn how to make it really work.

And let me say to Husbands and Wives, no matter what the world says, it is so much better for the woman to be in the home than in the workplace. (Funny thing, the prophets are right.) There is plenty to be done at home. Trying to be both working woman and homemaker is HARD. And to be a MOTHER, is VERY Hard. I am blessed that I am not trying to do this with little children. I do not know how they do it or why. Except when it is an absolute survival need. Even with my boys being young men, not little kids, I am not being nearly the mother I ought to be when I am gone all day.

And as far as personal enrichment, bah! How did the world ever foist that one on women??!! Even without any money, a woman's options for seeing, learning, doing, are so much more as an "at home mom" when she can have some control of her own time, than when her day belongs to an employer. I am blessed with a good pleasant job, for a good boss, and with good co-workers. I am blessed with work-related learning opportunities. I can listen to the radio sometimes while I work. But in many ways my life is much more limited. It is part of a mother's job to take the children to the park and other outings. To explore the world and even to have fun with the kids - enriching both them and yourself. Not so easy to do when you are gone 10-12 hours a day, most of that time in a cubicle shuffling papers.

An at home mom works hard and her work is never done. It is not easy being a homemaker. I do not at all mean to belittle it in any way or paint it as a never ending vacation. Sometimes it seems not only endless, but thankless. However, it is much better to be an at home mom than a working mom IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Better for the mom, the kids, the house, and the dad. Believe me. If not me, believe the prophets.

Well, I guess this counts as me time. Now back to my many responsibilities.

PS - Dear friends, please blog, comment, or email. I miss you!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Please, Won't He Be My Neighbor?

Joseph has been getting "employment inquiries" from various state departments for weeks. 


How this works – the department sends an employment inquiry to available candidates asking if they are interested in the position offered.  The applicant responds yea or nay.  If the applicant is interested, hopefully next they are contacted for an interview.


He has had two interviews.  Agriculture sent him a rejection letter.  : (   Last I heard, DMV is checking him out. 


But, excitement! Yesterday's employment inquiry is from the Department of Parks and Recreation!  From the Stanford Mansion Director.  The Stanford Mansion is a beautiful old Victorian home right behind my building.  I am psyched.  I would love it if he got a position there!


Please include Joseph in your prayers.  When I was job hunting, I asked the Lord to open and close the right doors for me (because I just didn't know which way to go!).  He did.  I have been truly blessed with this job.  May he be as blessed!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Last Tie Severed

Today was a solemn day for Ben and company.  It was the last day for their Seminary class.  Next week they will begin attending on Wissemann Dr.  A blow for "the Bro" .


While feeling a bit sorry for Brother F, I was looking forward to Ben having a new teacher – partly on the general principle that variety is good and educational in itself.  Different teachers give different emphasis and insights.   Then Ben told me that is sounds quite likely that Brother F will be teaching the older class next year.  So Ben will just have 4 months with another teacher before going back to the Bro.  Nice for Bro. F, but a little disappointing for me.


The really sad thing is that this seminary class was my last claim to belonging to my beloved Dover building at all.  Now, all my connections are Wissemannn.

Wissemann sure beats a mud hut or meeting in somebody's basement, but it doesn't hold a candle to the Dover building.  Almost no storage space is maybe my one greatest complaint.  Oh. no; there is the issue of precious few nice big rooms.  We had such nice YW, Scout, Primary rooms etc.  For big Wisseman only has the connected rooms you can push back the dividers to make big (except for RS).  The dividers don't block the noise as well as walls when they are closed and when they are open still make the room feel chopped up.  Also make nice places for difficult students to sit out of teacher view.  Just a completely different feel.  Even though the organizations can do a little decoration, it doesn't feel like their special place.


 I shouldn't complain too much.  The RS room is fairly nice.  There I just miss the lovely artwork donated by sisters which graced our walls.  The Wissemann RS room has pictures of General RS Presidents through the ages, several of them of grim pioneer visage.  I am sure they were lovely and wonderful women whose pictures don't do them justice at all.


I don't think the building itself is as pretty either. I loved our old red brick.  The white brick is ok, but I like the red brick better.  Maybe that is just from the long and happy time I spent there.  I do like the blue interior tones more than the brown tones back at Dover, but I was used to it.  

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over

Actually, the darn thing tipped over. Good way to start the work day.   A full cup of hot chocolate.  All over my desk.  Ran into a stack of invoices.   Also some Cub Scout paperwork I was going to work on before work.  Dripped in a drawer.  Got on my blouse.  I spent my pre-work time mopping up and using Tide-to-Go. Nice to be working the front desk in  blotchy blouse.  : ~.  


A sympathetic co-worker said that I am not the first one this has happened to today even.


From now on I am using the cup Debi made me!  I was using disposables because I have trouble taking the time to wash out my cup at the end of the day.  But I don't think that Debi's cup will betray me like that little styrofoam jobbie did.  


Good thing I have more cocoa mix.  Make it a double.




~~~ Area 51~~~

There's a new hire in "Joseph's" cubicle. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Long Day's Night

JAB will be up pretty much all night tonight.  The priesthood in our ward is working the election, unloading election materials from the precinct officers coming in from their polling places earning money for Scout camp.  This is a big election and I fear it will be a very long night.  I am a bit anxious about them, but proud of them for volunteering. 


Hopefully, they are getting some rest this afternoon.  I will pick them up as soon as I get home.  JA and I will go vote.  We all have absentee ballets, but have been on the fence on a couple of things.  I think we are all going to end up surrendering our absentee ballot and voting traditionally.  Sorry about the additional expense, Sacramento County.  Then I will take the guys to the Stake Center to meet up with the other election workers.  Selfishly, I am glad that the guys tell me that the Bishop will give them a ride home – eventually.  They say he told them it could be as late a 3am.  Ben thinks he is going to Seminary tomorrow, anyway.  Let me tell you, if he's asleep, I am not waking him up.

Bonus Question

I am lucky enough to be taking an Accounting Class at work.   Double lucky in a way.  I have previously taken Financial Accounting (301) and Managerial Accounting (311).  Now I am taking College Accounting (101) which really should have come before the other two.  It will be largely (I hope) review.  However, although I got As in the other classes, I cannot say that I really understood and mastered the material.  I hope in this class to get a better grasp on accounting basics.
At the end of each chapter,  we will have a 10 point quiz.  We will also get an extra credit bonus question.  Chapter 1, the instructor asked Who made the save in the Kings game ..blah, blah, blah?  She was faced with a lot of blank faces, so she gave us two other options.  Who did they play? Who won? Well, since she asked who made the save, we deduced that the Kings won and most of us got our bonus point. 
Since we now knew, as she told us, that the teacher is a big Kings (Sacramento Kings, hometown basketball team) fan, and does these little bonus questions each quiz, I did a little research before our Chapter 2 quiz today.  She allows us to take one page of notes in for a quiz.  On one side, I had accounting notes.  On the other, I had Kings notes.  Notes on the last game, the next game, the team roster and the mascot.  I was ready!  She could ask any reasonable question about the Kings and I could answer.  Tallest King? I had it.  Heaviest King? Got that, too.  Where did they go to school? How long have they been pro?  I was so on top.  What did she ask, you ask?  "Who won the Super Bowl!"  Did I know it? No, I did not.  She doesn't even like football.  But "anyone in touch with the world should know it." Fortunately, someone blurted it out and I did recognize that it sounded familiar, so I got my bonus point. 

to guide us in these latter-days

I was at my desk and my fingers were doing my job, but my ears, (most of my) mind, and heart were elsewhere yesterday morning.  My computer connection was not very good and kept cutting out.  That didn't stop the thrill as I "got to" the news conference online a little late, and heard the voice of our new prophet.  A voice that we have known and loved for years.  
Of course, it was not a big surprise as a pattern has been established since the early days of the church.  Yet, as the official church word had been that the new president was to be announced a few days after President Hinckley's funeral, I did not presume to KNOW and certainly not to SAY that President Monson would succeed him.  When I heard him speaking for the first time as President of the Church,   I knew it was right.
Thomas S Monson is the new President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I sustain him whole-heartedly as a prophet, seer, and revelator, chosen by God to lead His people today.  His counselors are Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  I love them.  I have a testimony of revelation and that they are true prophets.  I know that the Apostles did not "vote" for President Monson, but each received the word of the Lord.
Of course, all the Apostles and other General Authorities are totally loveable.  Every conference as each one gets up to speak, I think, "OH! He's one of my favorites!"  I cannot remember ever thinking disappointedly, "Oh, him."
What a blessing to live in the days of the restored gospel and the miracle of modern communication!