Saturday, May 31, 2008

Politicians are the same all over.

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
Nikita Khrushchev (1894 - 1971)
Election day is Tuesday. Joseph, Andrew and I all have absentee ballots and could send them in anytime. Except we are completely confused about for what and whom to vote. I really would like to say none of the above. I now think that ballots should have a None of the Above option and if it gets the most votes, you have a new election with different candidates. The mayoral race is nasty. The prop 98 / prop 99 debate totally confusing. I cannot even remember what other decisions await electoral wisdom. Sacramento is in trouble.

Let's talk about something else.

Friday morning on the way to Seminary, Goldie faltered and died. Like she was being choked or something. When I turned the key, the engine turned over and quit. Instead of going to Seminary, we waited for a AAA tow truck and then waited for Car Care Plus to open. Anna did not like riding in the car on the back of the - what do you call a tow truck that takes your car piggyback instead of pulling it? She did get her morning walk, however, because Ben, Anna and I walked home - probably about 2 miles. Nice morning for it. I do wish I would learn not to carry so much stuff in my bag! and I could use an ankle brace.

I decided not to go to work. Had I been alone, I would have gone on in. Light rail is just a couple of blocks from the car place. But I didn't want to walk home and then walk back to light rail! Besides, the car place closes about the time I get off work. It gave me a chance to get a little (very little) work done at home. And I had a nice google chat with an old college friend recently reconnected.

Fuel pump. $767. ouch. I have the money in savings, but I did have other ideas on how to spend it! Scott said GM is famous for faulty fuel pumps and that it is best to never let the car get down below 1/4 tank. sigh I generally try not to, but.... well, I will have to try harder. The fuel pump has a two year warranty. : )

Just when I was working on loving Goldie more.

Had it happened before the Yosemite trip, there would have been no rental, maybe no trip.

I am just SO GLAD it happened here in town in a relatively safe spot to stop - not somewhere in the Sierra Nevada wilds on a narrow winding road miles from anywhere and no cell phone coverage!!

Today Debi and Chloe were in the Sacramento SPCA Doggie Dash - the 5k walk. Andrew, Anna and I went to see the big event. Such a lovely morning and it looked like such fun, we decided to walk along. Andrew and I got separated, but Anna and I walked the course through William Land Park and enjoyed it throughly (except an ankle brace would have been nice). Anna took a dip in a couple of duck ponds to cool off along the way. We took it easy the first mile or so, but especially after the duck pond near mile 2, we were passing people like crazy. (Walkers, of course. The runners were long since basking in glory and enjoying other Doggie Dash events.)

The guys and I did some touch up work in the underwater room. It is about ready to call good. Then we clean it out, get the old carpet padding off the floor and clean it up, put closet hanging stuff back in the closet, figure out window treatment and move the guys. Window treatment - do we want window coverings that are like sails, watery, seaweed, or ? The original "inspiration" was that the beat up old bunkbeds were like shipwrecks. I want to get the guys sheets and bedspreads to match the room. Probably plain blue? The same color each or each his own? I would like to take the guys and paint sticks to maybe Linens and Things and have them help choose, but they don't much like shopping.

What else did I accomplish today? I mowed the front yard - we cannot honestly call it a lawn, looked at mission papers, and had a nice phone chat with my dear aunt/friend Robin.

I will not get into the long list of things I should also have done.

Now I am late fixing dinner.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sonora 1st Ward 5/25/2008

raw notes
-whole wheat Sacrament bread : )
-Jenna Dearden-The Holy Ghost
-inspire, reveal & teach all things
-when investigating as teen, parents imposed 1 year probation during which The Holy Ghost testified she was doing the right thing
-when her grandfather was killed in a robbery, The Holy Ghost nudged her to get home to her family calmly & quickly without seeing the crime scene & learning brutally. Normally she detoured by the family store on her way home just to see that everything was ok. This time she was gently prompted to go straight home. She had a calm feeling, no alarm. She arrived home t ofind lots of family gathered. Only when she was safely with people she loved, did she learn the sad news about her grand ather. -her best friend & family were there when she found out-her Bishop came and gave her a blessing
-we do not get a full testimony by skimming but by constant daily study
-Thomas S. Monson -our spiritual nature within us should not be dominated by our physical being
-Mary Young Williamson-as we let our light shine, we give others permission to do also
-the gift of The Holy Ghost grows with worthiness
-speaks to you in the way best for you
-spirituality determined by -outlook & priorities

--Todd Dearden - The Holy Ghost
High School administrator Did "Every 15 Minutes" at school-emotions raw - students "died" others were arrested-even tho they were acting-it was HARD-also he told about when his wife's sister was killed by a drunk driver
-he had only met J twice, once the night when her grandfather was murdered-he was impressed to call her-he wanted to help & support her in her troubles-that began their relationship
-of his wife he said, “I study the Gospel, she lives the Gospel”
-seek after the Spirit, look for it, pray for it
-prepare to be worthy-
-testifies of things that are true-'
-Moroni 10:5
-gives a calm spirit

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Learned on a road trip

Blogging by cell phone is very limited.
Walmart in Sonora opens at 8 on Sundays.
I do not want an Saturn Outback, although some features were very nice.
We can handle a little rain. We can handle some crowds. A lot of rain and a lot of crowds, not so much.
Andrew and Benjamin are good sports. (I already knew that, but it is good to be refreshed)

Yosemite! Amazing Awesome Beautiful

We got to Yosemite in the fairly early afternoon, entering by CA 140 - the minus there is the 14 miles of VERY curving road as opposed to the merely very curving road compared to 120 with 5 miles of VERY (but maybe not quite as) curving road. The plus, going under Arch Rock. Cool!

At first, it was pretty much another beautiful forested mountainy area. As much of traveling through the park is, actually. Then it was an traffic jammed, difficult to get through and even more difficult to find parking area - with stunning glimpses of why we were there. We actually managed to park in the Yosemite Village area. We looked in a couple of shops on the way to the visitors or information center. Despite the crowd, a young man was very helpful and did not laugh out loud when we confessed that we knew nothing at all about visiting Yosemite. He gave us free valley hike guide and we purchased 55 Day Hikes in Yosemite.

We "hiked" to Lower Yosemite Falls. An easy, mostly wheel chair accessible almost stroll. The last bit they say is not wheelchair accessible, but it would be to a person with two strong sons, I think. Beautiful! Magnificent! We walked back through a lovely meadow. The grandeur of the place! Beauty both enormous - as the gigantic granite rock - and minute - as in the delicate little plants. Totally lovely.

It was raining lightly - yellow ponchos everywhere! Still one could see the a giganitic formations and magnificient waterfalls, everything had a mistical, mystical feel. We wandered a bit, but were hungry and tired. And we had two more days to look forward to!

We stopped a couple of times to enjoy beautiful waterfalls on our way out to the 120 exit. How we were looking forward to the next 2 days when we would have more time.

We drove about 2 hours to Sonora, not surprisingly not seeing any Vacancy signs along the way in camp or motel. But with what I was paying to rent the "minivan," I wasn't looking that hard, anyway. At Walmart we did a little shopping - plastic knives which we had forgotten for spreading peanut butter, some milk because we felt like it, sunglasses for the boys (always a good thing to have and Andrew is working on getting his license), a wallet I promised Andrew for his birthday, and a floppy hat to replace the one I left at the eye doctor's but felt Davis was too far for an extra trip to reclaim it. We ate at the Taco Bell inside the store. I felt no qualms about using their facilities and spending the night in their parking lot.

Over dinner, we plotted hikes. After church, we planned to hike Sentinel Dome - an hour and a half hike, something like 600 foot climb, and 2nd highest view in the park. Then depending on time, energy, , couple of other hikes on Glacier Point Road also looked promising. Monday, we might head toward the Hetch Hetchy area. Such a big, big beautiful park!

We set up our beds. The boys in the cargo area with the seats folded flat. Me in the front passenger seat. Our stuff at their feet, under the seats, and filling the driver's seat. We called Joseph with my cell on speakerphone and had family prayer and scriptures - after he managed to get a reluctant little niece he was babysitting to bed.

Then the boys went to the movies - Chroncicals of Narnia - Prince Caspian. I set my alarm to 11pm so I could use the facilities before Walmart closed at midnight. Tried to blog by cell phone. That doesn't really work. Tested the cargo beds (This bed is too hard, she said) and fell asleep in the passenger seat. Not exactly just right, but comfortable enough. Next thing I knew, the boys were tapping on the window to be let in and it was 10 minutes to 1. I had missed my alarm. sigh

I slept ok, waking up off and on, which I often do at home. But no urgent urges, thankfully. I woke up for good a little before 5:30. I read a bit in John Adams and observed parking lot life. A surprising number of cars stayed the night in the parking lot. At least 3 RVs. Soon people started walking or driving up to the Walmart entrance and then leaving disappointedly. 6, 6:30, on and on. The boys woke up. We wondered when the facilities would be available. I read a bit of Dick Frances' Wild Horses out loud and we people watched. Finally, at 8 am, people started flowing in. I was surprised we were not in distress, but we were glad to see those doors open!

Ben and I has changed clothes in our beds - tricksey. Andrew waited until we went to the Sonora chapel.

Sonora First Ward. Nice friendly people. Excellent wife and husband talks about the Holy Ghost. Notes later.

We stopped at a park in Groveland (I think) to make sandwiches for lunch. We had missed breakfast waiting for Walmart. We didn't want to stir around too much before being allowed facilities and then it was time to get to church. No buying food on Sunday, we brought plenty. The weather wasn't too bad at all, I think we even had a bit of sunshine for our lunch.

As we got closer to Yosemite, the rain got rainier. There was quite a delay getting into the park - a precurser that the crowds were worse than Saturday. But also, coming in 120 is an easier ride, so that might be why more cars? We drove with difficulty through the park - long slow lines of cars, plenty of parked cars and pedestrians at every possible scenic spot, and increasing rain. As we headed up toward Glacier Point Road, we were finally free of the crowds, but the RAIN and we were driving through clouds. Places where I could barely see the road directly in front of me. Awe inspiring indeed when there is a sheer drop of thousands of feet at the edge of the road. It occured to us that should we find the trail and make the hike (the cold wet hike) we just might not see the grand vistas we hoped for. All we were going to see was grey, grey, grey. When the Glacier Point turn came, we passed it by and made our fearful way to lower and clear ground. The stress was taking a toll on me and I found a rest station barely in the nick of time. I have head a certain expression about being extremely afraid, today, I apparently experienced it!

We continued on to Mariposa Grove, but that road was closed because it was so full as to be nearly a parking lot. The rangers were advising people to park and take the shuttle in, but parking was not to be found and more people were arriving every moment. The exit is right there at the Mariposa Grove road and we took it, asking the ranger for tomorrow's forecast. More rain!

The boys and I agreed that it wasn't worth another night at Walmarts to see crowds and clouds, so we set our course for home.

Are we sorry we went? NO. We actually had a great time, although, admittedly, it could have been better.

The boys are now at Priesthood Meeting, but should be home any time (and will be hungry and tired.) Tomorrow we will go to the Mount Vernon Memorial Day Service after all - which we haven't missed in many years.

Someday we will go back. Possibly before Andrew's mission (probably not, but maybe), assuredly when he comes home. We will plan ahead and get a place to stay closer than Sonora's Walmart.


The rental has eased my minivan urges A LITTLE. Which is silly because it was an SUV, wasn't it. It had lovely, cushy seats! And! a front sunroof - fresh air/sunshine/shade/competely open/completely closed what you want is what you get plus a back seat moon roof. Very cool. There was something about the driver visability I didn't like. And it only got 16 mpg on the trip there. 19 on the way back. Over $120 on gas! I think I would like a minivan better, but I will try not to think about that right now. Goldie actually looked good to me when I turned in the Saturn.

The boys are home! We will forage.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yosemite by cell. Rain does

Yosemite by cell. Rain does not keep crowds away from Yosemite. The ragged clouds & mist add mystery to majesty & splendor.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Personal Nurse

I just got a phone call from my doctor's office and it was a gal I know at church. (Yes, it is Sister J)  Hmmm.  How do I feel about personally knowing my nurse?  Or more to the point, her personally knowing me!  She is a really nice gal, but is it too much personal knowledge? Will she nudge me medically at church?  Probably not.  She doesn't want to be approached about work on her time off.  It's probably fine, just takes a little getting use to.


Maybe it will help me do better.  I am over 6 months over-do for labs and visit.  Who has time?  And who wants to hear – lose weight, exercise, don't eat anything that tastes good and don't eat much of anything else.  I know, I know.  It is just much more easily known than done.


So, will seeing her fairly regularly guilt me into doing better?


Will it take "all the fun" out of church socials – i.e. refreshments?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.
Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Life decisions. Some make me happy, some not so much.

We know Yosemite is going to be crowded. We don't know how much that really translates into affecting our Yosemite experience. But I don't feel like I can take much vacation time yet and when Andrew gets his mission call, I will be taking time off to drive him to Utah and visit friends there. We are just going to go and see what happens.

We are not accustomed to trying to do what we really want. We are trying to get over feeling like we cannot do anything because of time, money, someone's disapproval, crowds, etc, etc. Sometimes, it is good to just give it a try. We have to be careful about all those things, or at least consider them, but we can mange some leeway. We are realizing that waiting for all the stars to align perfectly is just wasting life. We need to adjust our parameters and level of acceptable risk. Don't be so afraid.

We are going with the spirit of adventure and if it doesn't work out, we will just go somewhere else or come home sooner. I will blow a few hundred dollars of tax refund, but I prefer to think of it as investing it in my and my boys' memories and experience. (And I had an all time great refund this year, probably never to be repeated, so I can.) I wish Joseph wanted to go with us, but he is not a big risk taker. Anna will be glad. Ben wants to take her, but I don't think it would really work. Maybe after we get better at this they will both join us.

It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
Katharine Butler Hathaway

Again and again I wish that I had bought a mini van instead of the Cavalier last year. We are renting one for this weekend – since we will probably be sleeping in the car and there are going to be 3 of us. I have even toyed with the idea of trading the Cavalier in and getting a minivan, but I still owe over $7000 and would probably only get two or three. Then the minivan would cost another $10,000 plus. Not sure that makes much financial sense! Oh, well.

Cavalier vs minivan - I don't know if I figured this right.

My Cavalier gets about 20 miles to the gallon. I think most minivans do at least 16. So the Cavalier gets 4 mpg more. I have driven the Cavalier about 14000 miles since getting it the beginning of last year. So I think I have used about 700 gallons as opposed to a minivan using 875. At $4 / gallon, which we have not quite hit yet (buying gas at Costco), the Cavalier would save me $700 on gas. The minivan is going to cost just under $100/ day. So two three day road trips would pretty much cancel out the savings on gas. Not to mention the greater comfort and ability to carry more things. (I had to borrow Ruth's car to get our shed package and there have been many times I have wanted to transport more than I had room for – 3 boys plus a Black Lab comfortably, for instance.) If I figured right, I made a bad deal. . (Even more stupid, the Cavalier actually cost me $3000 more than the minivan I looked at, which, admittedly was older, but also had some lovely extras the Cavalier definitely lacks.)

The question still remains whether it would be worth replacing the Cavalier now – and if I can afford to. That's another set of numbers, I haven't yet tried to wrap my mind around Oh, alas. If I could afford to borrow $10,000 or more, I could/should/would borrow money to fix my kitchen, not indulge my transportation preferences. Oh, to win Publisher Clearinghouse Sweepstakes!

Oh to learn to regret and repent of moral errors as much as simple, eternally unimportant mistakes such as this!

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.
Rainer Maria Rilke
German lyric poet (1875 - 1926)

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)

Who is wise? He that learns from every One.
Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.
Democritus (460 BC - 370 BC)

Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Never let the demands of tomorrow interfere with the pleasures and excitement of today.

Meredith Willson, The Music Man

Most of my life is pretty dull. Not unpleasant, but dull. Every weekday, I take Ben to Seminary and walk the dog, take Ben and dog home, and go to work. My job is ok, a real blessing, but not anything to write about. After work, there doesn’t seem to be time or energy for much - especially if I cook dinner. Saturdays are full of errands and chores. Sundays church and extra meetings, sometimes a blessed nap! and time with family.

But sometimes we shake things up just a little. (oh, the excitement)

This week, one day, instead of worrying about dinner or a meeting right away, I put on my painting rags and experimented in the big blue room closet. What I came up with is not exactly what was in mind, but it will do. So Saturday, I bought more paint - running into Tom’s dad and Bishop Dyck - and experimented a little bit more. Learned a few things every painter already knows. Tape off. and Work from the top down. I had big dreams of painting a large part of the room, but after doing a couple of errands - like a trip to Costco to replenish supplies - I started running low on steam and time. so I just did a sample patch. I think I may try to organize a painting party - must buy more brushes.

Next weekend, we are “planning” (using the word very loosely) a road trip. Basically, we are going to get in the car and drive toward Yosemite. I think we are open to distraction along the way.

We have no idea where we will stay. By the time we decided that if we are ever going to go, we need to just do it, naturally Yosemite and surrounding environs were pretty well booked - like for the last two months if not more. Possibly (probably) sleeping in the car. (There is a Walmart in Sonora about 2 hours from Yosemite which is open 6am-midnight. No potty breaks between midnight and 6am which is a slight problem for me, old woman that I am, but I think I can handle it. The Sonora LDS chapel is only 5 minutes away, so church would be pretty easy.)

Andrew is keen on the adventure. Joseph and Benjamin wary. Ben will go, I think, maybe. Joseph MIGHT go if I rent a minivan. I think I will, just in case. It will be more fun and more comfortable. I would like to know whether Joseph is coming or not so that I know whether or not to get a pet sitter. The whole thing makes him seem sad, going or not going. But Andrew and I have been wanting to do a road trip forever and never managed it. Andrew really wants to go to Yosemite. I want to take them there, even on a token trip, before his mission.

I would like to avoid buying food on Sunday (even though I am willing to use Walmart’s “facilities” which takes advantage of the business being open. and am willing to go to Yosemite, meaning all the rangers, etc have to work) but haven’t quite got that figured out. IF I get my act together, I suppose we could make various sandwiches before we go.

The whole thing is at least a little crazy, but I don’t think disastrously or dangerously so.


; ( Andrew and Ben just came home from a Fireside. Ben says he doesn't want to go. His big problem is having to change in the Walmart or church restroom. He thinks it would look "lame." He would rather change in a gas station rest room. Go figure. Ok, if there is a gas station restroom, have at it. He hasn't decided for certain yet. After a little bit of "clearing the air," he seems to feel better about it. Whatever makes you happiest.

If neither Joseph nor Benjamin go, I will cancel my mini van and not hire a pet sitter. If anyone stays home, I will not hire a pet sitter. I would like them to come IF they want to. I am fine with them staying home if they are happy about it. The indecision and the being unhappy about the arrangements (or lack of them, depending on the boy) is not so fun. I understand their concerns, but life is what it is, take it or leave it.

Andrew is excited. Andrew is a free spirit and a lot of fun.

The Hot Place

     I thought going to church helped one avoid going to "the hot place," but today church IS the hot place.  It is hotter than my home! (Well, at least at the moment.)  We don't have central heat. We run fans all day and night. We use a not fully working whole house fan morning and evening. And, when it really gets hot, we use a portable air conditioner my daughter, Sariah gave us which pretty much cools one room, especially if you are in direct line.  We have tiny wall air conditioner in the "family room".   Both air conditioners are "new to us" in the last year or so.  Their reach is limited, but appreciated.  For years we sweltered without  any relief except fans.  The house still gets pretty warm sometimes. But here at church today, it is hot. No AC in the chapel, but lots of warm hearts.

    My friends from Utah lamented getting snow on May 1st.  Too cold too late! We are experiencing triple digit weather when it is only mid-May.  Too hot too soon! What ever happened to moderation?

    The boys and I were discussing our ideal temperature ranges.  I would be really happy with temperatures ranging from 40º-80º.  Ben wants to take it down 10ºs each and Joseph wants to take it up 10º.  I missed Andrew's take on it.

    My chronic lack of sufficient sleep, the overly warm chapel and High Counsel Sunday.  Doesn't it sound like the kiss of death to attentiveness?!  However, even without my alternate twin "secret weapons"  (which don't always work) of note taking or crocheting, I think I would have stayed awake this week.  Great speakers.

But I did take same notes:

Dennis Roberts -concrete finisher - more comfortable outside in work clothes than in a suit.
    The most important work you will ever do will be within your home.
may we demonstrate kindness & love
    Home should be a sanctuary where storm stops & peace dwells
    It's ok for kids to help parents remember prayer, FHE, scripture
    a home is made of love, sacrifice & respect
    most sacred place on earth should be the home
    grandparenting is a chance to so better
    Brother Roberts lost son in Iraq 1 year ago- since then has reflected on what is important-
love, hug, teach, FHE, call grown kids & express your love
    so much of what people concentrate on will not make a difference in immortality, but the family will
    parents are to be living examples of kindness & pure knowledge
    stop the storm at the door by building your life on the teachings of the Savior
    never let a day go by without family prayer & scripture study- put it to the test

Daniel Hunt -he's a lawyer, he's didn't say so, but we know that-
    with the right perspective, life experiences can bless us
    they prepare us for future
    we can have eternal life if we want, but only if there is nothing we want more
    our experiences may not be dramatic,but they are important to our growth
    decide early to serve mission, to marry in the temple
    Richard G Scott April Conference 2004 (I  found the quote) "You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil. If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see. Much of the world is being engulfed in a rising river of degenerate filth, with the abandonment of virtue, righteousness, personal integrity, traditional marriage, and family life. Sodom and Gomorrah was the epitome of unholy life in the Old Testament. It was isolated then; now that condition is spread over the world. Satan skillfully manipulates the power of all types of media and communication. His success has greatly increased the extent and availability of such degrading and destructive influences worldwide. In the past some effort was required to seek out such evil. Now it saturates significant portions of virtually every corner of the world. We cannot dry up the mounting river of evil influences, for they result from the exercise of moral agency divinely granted by our Father. But we can and must, with clarity, warn of the consequences of getting close to its enticing, destructive current.

"Now the brighter side. Despite pockets of evil, the world overall is majestically beautiful, filled with many good and sincere people. God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it. You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness. It is contained in the scriptures and in the inspired declarations of His prophets. He clothed your intelligence with spirit and made it possible for you to enjoy the wonder of a physical body. When you use that body in the way He has decreed, you will grow in strength and capacity, avoid transgression, and be abundantly blessed."
    it is not good that man should be alone (his wife was away for a week at time twice recently so he has a testimony)
    experiences we have are a sign of God's love for us
    Brother Hunt served a mission in Philippines
    many time we do not comprehend the blessings of the temple until we are going through affliction:
story of brother - I missed his name - His wife went to the home of her childhood in anticipation of the birth of their first child.  He was going to join her before the birth, but got a call from his father-in-law telling him that he had a new daughter and they were fine.  Happily, he told his coworkers, who asked for chocolates.  The next day as he went about giving chocolates to his coworkers, he got another call.  Your wife is ok, but your daughter has died.  The funeral is tomorrow, we cannot wait for you to come.  He asked to talk to his wife. They discussed the promises of the temple and the promise that little children who die are alive in Christ.  They felt blessed to know that their daughter was alive and eternally theirs.  They agreed that he would join his wife in two weeks. Then he went back to distributing chocolates.  One of his coworkers asked how he could do that in the face of this tragedy.  He said, if you have 3 hours, I can tell you.  Later they got together and talked for 4 hours as he shared the plan of salvation and exaltation.   His friend took the missionary lessons and accepted the gospel.
    D&C 122: 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
  8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
  9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

Sunday School-
Abinadi could not be killed until he delivered the Lord's message. It was imperative that this message be heard.  Of all his listeners, how many listened?  Only 1.  What difference did that 1 make?
How do we write the commandments on our hearts? desire & repetition of obedience
Alma 42: 11 And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.
  12 And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon himself because of his own disobedience;
  13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
  14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
  15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

good news
Mosiah 15:
19 For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.
  20 But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead.
  21 And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called.
  22 And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.
  23 They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death.
  24 And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.
  25 And little children also have eternal life.

plan of salvation provides hope, a way for all to come back

Relief Society
good news minute:  Yesterday was a Stake Women's Conference.  They had a goal to make 180 Baby Bundles (I think for babies of homeless women) and they put together 270! 

The lesson was based on one of my favorite scripture passages
Alma 34:   20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
  21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
  22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
  23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
  24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
  25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
  26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
  27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

     Pray about EVERYTHING
    study it out and take it to the Lord
    Don't "hang up" before He has a chance to answer
    sometimes when we ask A or B and the Lord doesn't (seem to)  answer, it is because he wants us to come up with C
    The things that are important to us, even if they are not important to anyone else, are important to the Lord

Monday, May 12, 2008

A man should keep his friendships in constant repair

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair. Samuel Johnson, English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

I am not nearly as good as I ought to or want to be at keeping my friendships in good repair. Fortunately, I am blessed with understanding and forgiving friends, some of whom also find that too often the business of life leaves us with too little time and energy for even the important things like friendship.

I was blessed this weekend to be able to spend a little time with dear friends. The Larsons were in town for AJ and Stephanie's Sacramento reception. At one point, AJ mentioned that we had not seen each other since before his mission. Yet these are the kind of friends where time and distance fall away as soon as you meet again. I am especially blessed with this family, because not only is the mom my very dear friend, but also the dad and the two older kids. The younger guys are ok, too, but more tolerate me because I am their mom's friend than are actual friends themselves. The others are my friends both collectively and individually.

It was altogether an lovely weekend. Friday, we had Miriam's birthday dinner. Grilled chicken, some rice, and lots of fresh fruit, and Cinnamon Tortilla Chips Ben made. (When I got home that evening, I realized we had forgotten to bring over part of our contribution to the dinner - the corn was still on the stove! But with all the good fruit, we didn't miss it.)

Saturday, I gave talk a baptism. After giving Tom such a hard time about him asking me to give it (largely because if the short notice, but I think he had rather short notice, too) I, naturally, enjoyed the experience. It is good to go to baptisms and refresh those special feelings and remember what it is all about.

Then I walked across the hall "to see if the wedding people needed help getting ready", but really just to spend time with Melanie. Andrew and Ben were such good sports. They tagged along and helped even though there wasn't really anything in it for them. Ben and Sean and Stephen used to be pretty good friends when they were "little" (a term one uses advisedly regarding Sean and Stephen! I remember being surpised when the the pediatrician told me that Ben was tall for his age, because he always seemed so small next to his friends!) But the guys are grown apart. S&S are into sports and girls, whereas Ben is not. And of course, they write back and forth even less than my friends and I do!

We worked on strawberries and visited. Sent out for IN and Out Burgers and enjoyed lunch together before going separate ways until time for the reception where I got to visit with other seldom seen, but dear, friends.

Sunday after church where we were reminded of the importance of families in Sacrament Meeting and learned about service in Sunday School, we rested a little before getting together at Ruth's. I got to visit on the phone with Sariah, Acadia, David and Teresa. ; ) At Ruth's we enjoyed hamburger, tater tots and milkshakes! Miriam gave me a bunch of roses and a decorated can full of Ferror Rocher - which has become almost a traditional gift between Debi, Miriam and I.

(The pictures were taken with our cell phones as we still don't have a working camera in the family. One I took at work and the other I had one of the guys send me. I don't know why the difference in quality.)

Monday Debi had flowers delivered to me at work! Next to the flowers you can see the little photo book (I don't remember what they call them) that Ruth made me filled with pictures of Esther and Jared.

I am so truly blessed in my children and my friends!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?

Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

Last week, I even had a countdown clock to when I got off work Friday and the weekend, the long awaited, much anticipated, weekend would be begin. A special weekend, you ask? No, just the weekend! No-alarm-clock Saturday and some time to get something done, do something fun, and get a little rest. It ended up being a mixed bag.

Stamper’s 6 Club meeting Friday and I was the hostess. We had a lot of fun and made cute gift “pull outs,”

Saturday, started out ok. I don’t sleep in much, unfortunately, but then, that means I can get my laundry done and then the washer is ready for Joseph.

It was our turn to help clean the building. The building seems really big when you are vacuuming! I think Andrew thinks there is a tremendous amount of glass around the entries, too. I turned on my vacuum in the Relief Society room and it started spewing dirt! Blocked hose. Either the family that was assigned the chapel had not yet come in, OR they did it before Wednesday’s funeral. Wrestling the vacuum in amongst pews was no joke. Ben outsmarted that! He crawled under the pews and towed the vacuum along! Joseph thought that was a great idea and followed suit. I did not try it!

Long over due haircuts went without incident. We picked up some supplies to make chicken enchiladas for Sunday. Esther and Jared came over while Ruth had a scrapbooking class. Andrew took care of them mostly.

Kentucky Derby! The most exciting 2 minutes of sports. The favorite, Big Brown, a beautiful horse, came from the far outside and won going away. My pick, the only filly in the race, 8 Belles, took second. But! Even as we were watching Big Brown ease up and come back around, we got the word that 8 Belles was down. Then they showed her – flat down. The horse ambulance went out. She had broken both front legs and they euthanized her. I sobbed. It was the only thing to do. The jockey slid off ok when she went down. .

Last week I had won tickets to the ballet, but couldn’t go. I gave them to Miriam who took Esther. They had a great time. This week Miriam won tickets and gave them to me and I took Esther. We both dressed up and she wore a tiara. We also had a very good time.

It was a delightful evening, marred only by me seeing a little squirrel run over in front of us on the way out of our neighborhood. Glad Esther couldn’t see it! I often wonder why all the needless suffering in the world! There are fleeting moments of doubt. Less fleeting moments of sort of feeling sorry for Heavenly Father. Over all, or maybe under all, trust that the Lord will see that everything comes out right - eventually.

Every Sunday, I thrill to watch the Priesthood administer and pass the Sacrament.

Nice testimonies, nice lessons. Nothing earthshaking, or maybe I just wasn't much in tune.

The most exciting thing to me was Lynda P was called as Cub Committee Chair. I need to distribute the Cub stuff I have to her and the new Cubmaster Rod K. Wow! Both positions filled. I don't know how that works, I was always called to serve one and then needed to "act" the other.

Tom's birthday dinner had a Mexican flavor. Salsa and chips, chicken enchiladas, horchata and flan. I had nibbled so much while working on enchiladas that I couldn't eat dinner. Monday, on the way to work, I wanted the enchiladas! Had to wait until Tuesday dinner, however.

Ben made pizza for dinner Monday! What a nice guy,

Andrew and I went to Michaels. He bought a gift card for his email pal. I looked, unsuccessfully for crochet patterns.

Most of the family have drawn a secret someone for whom to make a homemade gift, I am glad that I have (finally) started, because it is slow going with set backs. I am trying to crochet a sweater (from a pattern I found online), but within a few rows, something is wrong, Either I or the pattern made a mistake. Which do you think more likely?! I am taking a break from the sweater to practice the stitch pattern on a scarf. I will try again, however. A scarf is just not enough!

Having gotten Ruth "Before Green Gables" for her birthday, I borrowed it as soon as she finished. She hasn't seen it since, As soon as I was done, Debi borrowed it. I think it has gone on to someone else and Miriam is waiting a turn - after school is finished for the semester. I went on to read the 8 Anne books. The first Anne books are fun. The last couple, especially the very last, are poignant.

Now, I "need" to go to the library and read the Emily books.

Our Accounting teacher gave us our grades to date a couple of weeks ago. What with extra credit, I had enough points for an A even if I didn't go to class again. I did homework and a couple of quizzes, but then I dragged to a halt. I went to a couple more classes - only a handful of students, all assured As still go - who knows maybe I would learn something, also to set up the computer and I like the teacher. She likes me too. She gave me some Sees candy to thank me for taking care of the computer.

Work is interesting enough to do, but not interesting enough to talk about, like any of this was! But I haven't blogged in a while. Now, you can see why. Too busy doing nothing interesting.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Look Up and Smile

The Satellite Sisters asked:

If $100,000 fell into your lap, what would you do?


Ooh, there's so many things I would like to do!


Tithing first  $10,000  leaving $90,000


Save aside money for taxes – they say Uncle Sam takes a quarter of our money, so $25,000, now there's $65,000.  But I will get interest. : )


I would pay off my car, about $10,000 and maybe-probably buy a mini van, around $15,000.     40,000 left


Road trip - before Andrew leaves!  Say $1000.  Yosemite?


$10,000 for Andrew's mission

Save $10, 000 for Benjamin's mission or Joseph's if he decides to go first – somebody's mission.  It's ok if they both go! We will manage!


Whatever is left - $19,000 to work on the house. 
I probably should put fixing the house first (third, actually), but then it would probably take all the money!


If  I felt I could squeeze something somewhere I would get a Mac Powerbook.  Maybe a Pro.


That's the current version.  Fun to think about.  But, sigh, I just looked up and only saw my office ceiling.  Back to work!


by the way - What would YOU do?