Saturday, March 29, 2008

I am no lion, but I have my false pride

We were out of milk. With houseguests. (David and Teresa arrived late last evening/night to spend the weekend.) Andrew and I went to Bel Air, basically "just to get some milk." As we we entered the store, I thought wistfully that since it is a week after Easter it was too late for there to be any left over Easter candy. Wrong. There was not only Easter candy, but there were DARK chocolate bunnies!! Joseph, Teresa and I had been just talking about wishing there were some. While Andrew and I looked at the candy, a store lady came and said all the candy was not 50% off, it was 50 CENTS each! We helped relieve them of considerable old stock. We did get the milk - and apples, and Moose Tracks ice cream - Chocolate Moose Tracks - the best!

David and Teresa did not go spend the day with friends in Placerville. They hung around to help dear, old Mom. They will see their friends briefly after church and before BBQ dinner.

Tom came over and they put on my storm door. Yippee! I can once again enjoy fresh air without losing Joseph's kitty or getting unwelcome guests. (Now, if we could only eliminate the loud, vulgar neighbors and their friends.)

Then, with the home team, they went to work on finishing the shed, while Tom went to get a small shed for their backyard. I kidnapped Teresa for a trip to Costco - we needed chicken for Tom to barbecue Sunday. When we got back, Andrew told me that they had reached a good stopping point and they had run out of instructions. My feeble little mind was on other things, so I didn't get it until he actually had to tell me. The stopping point was that they finished the shed! Looks good.

We didn't move the bikes and lawnmower in however, because it was time for them to go to the movie with Glen. I, of course, stayed home. I worked on my homework while spending time with Esther and Jared who had been hanging out with us since coming over with their dad to work on the door.

When Glen brought the boys back, he told me that he is canceling his cell phone (and therefore the boy phones) Monday. I need to decide whether to beef up my Verizon account : ( and add them or put their phones on Virgin Mobile. I am leaning towards Virgin Mobile since their phones are mostly safety phones, not chatty phones, but I am not sure. Glen is also getting rid of cable and thinking about 1) selling the Prius so he can pay me a part of what he owes the house for it and getting an old car, 2) riding light rail to work, 3) getting a second job. He is in deep financial doo-doo and trying to get it straightened out. He is going to Debtors' Anonymous. I think he is making progress now. I hope so. I am relieved not to be part of all of it!, but also somewhat conflicted, concerned and guilty (why?!). Mostly relieved. (and hoping that the creditors he secretly incurred before the divorce DO NOT come after me!)

But just as I am not quite gloating over my better financial acuity, I for some reason felt the need to check my epayments for the last 30 days and noticed that my MC payment didn't show up. I pulled the last statement and saw it noted that I was making an epayment in good time. Except it didn't show up in my bank records. Apparently. I failed the all important step of clicking "make payments" after putting in the instructions to pay last month's credit card bill. ooops. Which means I missed a payment and am sending it in late. That bit of brilliance will probably cost me $50. Do you know how many stamps that could buy?! or hamburgers or ties for a missionary or ??? That will not happen again!

I need to also check to make sure other payments are not missing. sometime when I am more awake.

Now the siblings are having some time together, although hopefully not very late. Church tomorrow, Joseph is trying to adapt his body clock to working man hours, and both Debi and Ruth have been sick this week, neither of them quite well yet. I have showered and am going to bed. I had planned on paying bills and doing homework while they were all gone, but they left later than anticipated and I am tired. Good night!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ventilation or On "I Hate People"

A couple of my children occasionally say, "I hate people." What I think they usually mean is "I hate stupid people." And/or "I hate cruel people, especially people who abuse children or animals." One of them, I am pretty sure also means, "I hate unrighteous people, especially people who use vulgar, profane language and who dress immodestly." (The other one, I am not so sure about those particular points.) Both of these children are quite bright. (Ok, all my children are. Sometimes I wonder where they get it.) So, when they mean "I hate stupid people," by comparison it covers a lot of territory.

It is a little frightening to me that every once in a while I find myself thinking, "I hate people." When its abusive people, well, I pretty much do. When it is stupidity, there is the risk of the pot calling the kettle black, you know. I am a little alarmed for people who are stupider than me (or is it I? I actually think it is I). How do they manage to dress themselves in the morning?

However, sometimes at work, I am appalled at the sloppy bookkeeping we come across with various vendors. Ok, also sometimes when conducting personal business, as well, and other stupid business practices – don't let's get started. I am not a business genius. I am not any kind of genius yet discovered. However, I do have more business sense than far too many people/companies I come across.

I know, I know, and my children have heard me say it, Jesus said love everyone, which includes stupid, cruel, and vulgar people. Part of me does. But part of me, gets annoyed. Too often. Now back to work. Some of it dealing with stupid people. (Fortunately, not much in the way of co-workers, mostly, like I said, vendors.) NOW, back to work!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

a little tidbit from an email from Teresa

(By the way, just so you guys know and because David may never mention it...he made the Dean's list in the Fall quarter this year because of his exceptional work...and I wouldn't be surprised if he does it again this quarter, he's done so well!) 

Monday, March 24, 2008

"A-Hmong Friends"

I took an early, little bit long lunch today without having anything to eat while at it. (I did have some soup at my desk later.)

What I did for my lunch break was attend a Hmong rally on the Capital steps.

The Hmong people made huge sacrifices to fight for freedom and to save American lives during the Vietnam War. “We” told them that if they helped us, we would stand by them. Then we pulled out and left them. For the past 30+ years, the Laotian government has been persecuting these people. Not “picking on.” Not keeping them in low paying jobs. Hunting them down like animals and killing them. Destroying villages. Starving them. Some escaped to Thailand. Thailand is forcing them back to Laos. We have deserted our allies. The rally was to call for the
Laotian government to stop the genocide, to remind Americans what the Hmong did for us, and to urge Americans to stand by their friends. Stop sending American dollars to aid a corrupt government. Refuse to trade. Call for UN action. Demand that Laos stop violating human rights.

If you want to know more about the Hmong people, visit The Hmong in America, especially, “Why are the Hmong in America”.

If your heart is touched, if you believe that America should stand by her allies, please write to your legislators. You can find them by going to this web page and typing in your zip code.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easy Assembly

Joseph and I borrowed Hinds' mini van and headed for Costco.  Alas!  The space for the shed boxes was empty!  There was one set of boxes on a customer cart.  sad.  We asked at customer service.  Hurray! The computer said they had 8 hidden away and would meet me at the door with one. So, we bought our Easter ham and a couple of other things, paid for everything and proceeded toward the door to meet the shed.  Alas! the customer service gal hurried up to tell us that the floor person could not find the 8 sheds!  Just as she was about to refund the shed price, she got another call.  Hurray!  The set of boxes we saw on the cart were apparently not claimed!  We continued to the door where a worker always checks your receipt to make sure you have what you paid for and no more.  So, he lines off the receipt and hands it back.  I said, "You don't even look at it, do you?"  "Yeah, I looked."  Then I pointed out that the shed was on the receipt but was still approaching.  Busted!

Joseph and I spent all morning working on putting up the shed on a "pretty even" bit of the backyard - hoping that they really didn't mean it when they said in the directions that we needed a level foundation.   Then we stood back and noticed that the two sides of the doorway had about 4 inch height difference!  No good. 

We decided to move it to the "back patio" (where it will block my window).  So, we took it apart, moved it and spent all afternoon working on putting up the shed. 

We were not nearly done when it was time to babysit.  So, I asked for playclothes that the kids could get dirty and brought them back to our dirty backyard.  Which thrilled them for about 10 minutes, then they wanted to go inside.  Sorry, kids, so do we. 

We were working on the roof when Andrew and Benjamin returned, tired and dirty from their campout.  Andrew helped with the shed and Benjamin made pizza. 

Darkness fell with the shed not quite done.  The walls and roof are up, but we still need to put in dozens of screws, do the doors, the windows and the loft.

But! The pizza is ready!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Shed

This is the shed I hope to get tonight! IF they still have some. The boxes behind it are what you buy. Last time I was there, there were only a couple left.

It is 9.5 x 8.5 x 8.5. Will it hold 4 bicyles, 1 bike cart, a lawnmower, and miscellaneous rakes and shovels? Is there any hope for camp gear or food storage? It looked bigger in person, but big enough? It's the best I can do and it will be a big help.

This will represent a big chunk of my income tax refund. It was this or a laptop ; ). I am sure I made the right decision, but I am still thinking about a laptop. Another chunk is going to dress my missionary when he gets the call. I was surprised to get such a good return this year, but part of it was because of sales tax on getting my car after I killed poor Jade. THAT can't happen very often!!

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)


So, maybe you are wondering why my Maybe Worth Sharing blog gets so many more entries than this one. 


1)      My life isn't all that interesting.

2)    It is much easier to forward, even sometimes with a little tidying up, with half a mind and one hand while eating lunch or doing something else, than it is to write a journal post.

3)    You think that I am posting every one of these funny, inspirational, "interesting" emails I get, but I am not!  I must be getting a dozen or so a day from one friend alone.  Most of the ones she sends on are pretty good, too.


But, now for a few minutes of a real post - although I could be studying my Accounting class, doing personal bookkeeping, Cub Scout work, etc etc.  And my 30 minute lunch is about over.  Time! 


Wednesday night we had Pack 941 (my ward Perkins) and Pack 740 (Brighton Ward) Pinewood Derby.   Brighton is where the rest of old Camellia City Ward went, and some of old Rosemont?  So it was a nice chance for old friends to mingle again.  I was not sufficiently prepared.  I didn't have pre-meeting activities for the kids, so they ran around wildly.  They were good about staying clear of the track – Andrew's traffic cones and Benjamin's caution tape really helped!  And they enjoyed themselves.  I was glad that Gene M from Brighton did the registration, but it took much longer than I anticipated and I didn't have any entertainment ready.  I have seen leaders who always have songs, jokes, skits, et cetera ready on 3x5s in their pocket.  No matter what happens, they are ready. Someday! Even so, the kids had a good time.  The races went smoothly.  We rented a great track with everything computerized, so there was no controversy.  I even had some fun doing some refreshments. I cut little wedges of cheese and put tiny sausage wheels on them.  We rolled out aluminum foil the length of a table, drew a road on it, and put the "cars" on the road.  It was a tickle.  Refreshments were potluck.  The only problem was that other people didn't know if they should put their refreshments on the table, too.  I guess I should have set up two food tables.  The boys had fun.  I think the families did, too.  And it's over! For another year.  Next month, Abracadabra – Cub Scout Magic.


Right now Andrew and Benjamin are with the Perkins Ward Scouts/Young Men at Point Reyes.  They left yesterday morning.  Three days at the coast!! Today they are doing a long hike which includes visiting a Morgan horse ranch where they train horse for park service (I think).  I am so jealous!  Tomorrow they will walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and visit the somebody somebody Engineers Bay Area Model (I have done both those things and am not so jealous of that).  Of course, I have been to the coast and  I have seen horses before, but I am still jealous.  Andrew wanted to take a camera so he could shoot some horses for me, but we don't have a working camera!  One of the sorrows of my life.  I am going to get one "soon" when I can figure out what kind.  Andrew will try with the cell phone.  Sweet boy.


Lunch is over. This is as good as it gets for now.


Tonight after work, I hope to go get a cute backyard shed from Costco!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No Fooling, It's Going to be a Big Day

Tuesday, April 1st is not only the birthday of a beautiful and delightful young woman, good mother, and Stamper extraordinaire,
it is also going to be the day -
Joseph starts work for the California State Department of Consumer Affairs!
Andrew attends a special dinner honoring young men who earned their Eagle Scout in the last year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Son, John

Surprise, David, it's not what you think, although, I think you are also a John.
In our Relief Society discussion on John the Baptist, one of the sisters said that she thinks there are many "Elizabeths" raising and preparing their sons to serve the Lord.  She was kind enough to mention me by name, saying that she noticed that we always come early so that Andrew and Benjamin can do their pre-meeting Priesthood service – setting up chairs, preparing the Sacrament, raising the flag – and stay after to put away chairs, empty trash, etc.  This is one time when it is a good thing to have your sons called young Johns.  (another totally delightful name that the world has sullied.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Go to Maybe Worth Sharing and read "How to Bury a Prophet"

This article moved me. It touched my feellings about the gospel, President Hinckley, and my own family.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tentative job offer!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joseph Robarts
Date: Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 11:06 AM
Subject: Tentative job offer!

I was just on the phone with my contact at the Consumer Assistance
Program, and he wants me to go over around one to fill out some
additional paperwork and receive a tentative job offer (tentative
while the paperwork is getting approved). Yay!

Maybe Worth Sharing

I sometimes find things or get emails that give me a tickle, inspire, provoke, or amuse. I dont' really like forwarding most of the time. Sometimes I have posted them here, but this is more of a personal journal/letter to my family and friends, not all of whom appreciate those kind of things. So, I started another blog for sharing them -when I can take the time. When you are in the mood, visit here:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Well Said

"What does my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mean to me? It means everything. It influences, enlivens, permeates, and gives purpose and meaning to everything in life that is important to me: my relationship with God, my Eternal Father, and with His Holy Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It teaches me that through obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel, I will find peace and happiness in this life and be invited to live in God's presence, with my family, in the life that surely will follow mortality, where His mercy will satisfy the demands of justice and encircle me and mine, and you and yours, in the arms of safety."

(Richard G. Hinckley, "Repentance, a Blessing of Membership," Ensign, May 2006, 50)

Amen to that.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)


I was going to look for a tax quote, but I didn't need to. This one showed up as a quote of the day.

"Go to bed today." Is one of the house rules – which some residents occasionally defy. I barely made it last night! And once in bed, my mind was so revved I had trouble sleeping. I woke up at 4am and lay there for an hour TRYING to sleep. I wish I were that awake now!

I spent all evening with Turbo Tax on-line - and I got my taxes done!

I had thought about going to someone, but was nervous about buying a pig in a poke

- A poke is a small sack or bag and is the origin of the word pocket. The word is still in use in several English-speaking countries, notably Scotland and USA. A poke is just the sort of bag that would be useful for carrying a piglet to market.

A pig that's in a poke may turn out to be no pig at all. If a merchant tried to cheat by substituting a lower value animal, the trick could be uncovered by letting the cat out of the bag. The advice has stood the test of time and people have been repeating it for getting on for five hundred years, maybe longer.

.. and besides, they are all getting pretty booked up. So, I decided to grow up, be brave and try Free File. Which led me to Turbo Tax On-line which walked me through it step by step. It took a long time, but it wasn't hard at all. Of course, it did help that I had spent quite some time previous reading up on what I would need so I had all my information handy.

And oh, happy day! I do NOT owe money. I am getting money back! (sing a happy song!)

Of course, that's part of the problem. Not only was I pretty excited about actually doing my taxes more or less myself, but I was going round and round about what to do with the money! The possible list is VERY Long - Save for my old age - Debt reduction – missionary clothes – I would really like a lap top – none of us have working cameras – I still think about that mini-van – my car's brakes are making noise and she's do for 60,000 mile service – back yard shed for bikes and tools – et cetera, et cetera – not to mention, which I am sure you noticed I didn't, all the home repairs that need doing! Decisions, decisions!! (I am so bad, I entered a PCH contest with a $10,000 prize and I thought "Only $10,000! That's not nearly enough!") So, you can imagine that my tax refund is not going to go very far!!

I am jazzed ! It is done and I was a little concerned that I might owe, since the withholding is based on my salary alone, but I also am taxed on alimony. I had some good deductions. I am so happy I am getting money back. It's a good feeling.

I found some more good tax quotes anyway.

Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt. George Sewell

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund. F. J. Raymond

I don't know about the former, but the later IS nice.

The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest amount of hissing.

Jean Baptiste Colbert

I guess it's working for me right now.

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling. Paula Poundstone

Oh, so that's what it is. I am tired!

Hey, take the poll on the right. What do you think? If your answer is not there, comment.

Off I go, humming a happy patriotic tune (but at least slightly off-key)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

" I will prepare and some day my chance will come." Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the US (1809 - 1865)

Actually, I rather hope not.

Saturday, the boys and I went to CPR Saturday.  Now, the 4 of us are certified for another year.  Joseph is also certified to use Automated External Defibrillators. 

I couldn't stay for that class because I needed to get to a post office before it closed.  Andrew and Benjamin tagged along with me.

We next borrowed the movie "Gone With The Wind" from the Folsom Library.  (CPR Saturday was at Bayside Church. What a complex!  They even have a cafe open 8-8 daily!)  I got the itch to see the movie because Friday was the anniversary of "Gone With the Wind" winning 8 Oscars, including the first African -American actress or actor to ever win an Oscar.  (Hattie McDaniel was criticized for portraying a maid, Mammy, in the movie.  She said she would rather play one than be one.)  We spent most of Sunday afternoon watching "Gone With the Wind." The boys were completely underwhelmed.  Although they did like Mammy.  I liked it, but I have had my fix for a while.  Not one I need to own.

Before retrieving Joseph, we went to Vic's Market in Folsom, famous for being the place where our Home Teacher / YM President and his wife work.  (I think it belongs to her father and joining the family business was practically a condition of father's blessing to the marriage.)  We bought bread for Sacrament Meeting and sandwiches for a late lunch. 

We wanted to visit Sedgwick, a blue fronted Amazon parrot,  in his happy "new" home.  We inherited him from a very dear friend when her mother died, but donated him to Star EcoSystem in Rocklin about a year ago because we couldn't provide him the attention and stimulation he needed.  We have wanted to visit him, but haven't had the time.  Well, when we arrived, the door was open, but while we sat in the car as I finished the last few bites of my sandwich, they closed and locked it!  I was so frustrated!  No Sedgwick.  -  Every once in a while, I email Ryan D at Star Eco System and he tells me how well Sedgwick is doing - even sends a picture.  But it would have been nice to see him (Sedgwick) ourselves.  Not that he ever liked me.

I just had a couple of Sunday School classes introducing me to the  new.familysearch website.  I successfully added my paternal grandfather and combined duplicate records of my maternal grandfather. I also added my mother's mother's father's mother.  aren't you impressed   This is another thing I should find time to do! 

When I was young and raising little children, I didn't think I had time to do genealogy.  Now, I am old, still mothering and working full-time.  I still don't have time.  But, wait, there's more!  As I get old, my ancestors pass on. I have lost a wealth of information and stories by not recording my relatives.  One always thinks there will be time later.  There isn't. I don't know what the answer is here. 

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."  Emily Dickinson