Friday, June 27, 2008

What is Water Club?

First a shout-out to Father of Five one of our nation's heroes! I hope your vacation works out!

Water Club is just that a bunch of co-workers pay in each month to have bottled water brought in so we don't have to go down the hall to the water fountain. ; )

Distinct advantages:

The water club water comes hot or cold so we can drink nice cold water, or mix up our instant cocoa, soups, cereal, et cetera. The drinking fountain down the hall comes luke-cool. The cooler was turned off years ago during an energy crises.

The water club cooler is right outside my cubicle. : ) !

Some people believe the bottled water is more pure. I am skeptical about that. Also, we have pretty good water here in Sacramento.

For $5 a month, I like the advantages of close hot or cold water.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be." Jim Horning

Thursday morning, June 26, 2008

Having already waited longer than I should, I decided I had to gas up before catching light rail to work. That went ok, and I was almost on time to the light rail station. As I rushed to the train stop, I realized that I didn’t have my lunch bag. So,I hurried back to the car where it wasn’t either. I missed the train by that amount of time.

Of course, no one is home to put my lunch bag in the fridge for me. Am I going to have to throw away that lovely food, including my last artichoke?

A missed train is a crocheting opportunity. Except. My crochet hook is not in my bag. WHERE did I lose it?

My purse fell in the dirt.

This is no way to start a day.

The purse was closed and nothing fell out.

Light railruns into town every 15 minutes, so instead of getting to work nice and early, I was just a little early.

Things are looking up, right?

Water Club is completely out of water. We HOPE they deliver tomorrow.

The indispensible Ruth (at work, not daughte who is also indispensible) is still out - she is in the hospital - pnuemonia. Not only is Ruth a nice person, but this office is LOST without her. We don’t even know all she does - but she orders our supplies, knows where everything is, gets our mail, time stamps and sorts it, does runs to the Tresurer’s Office, distributes revolving fund checks, handles our payroll. Several times a day, someone comes to our cube looking for her - only to leave disappointed and dejected. Even the boss doesn’t know everything and how she does - you should have heard her and Rachel working on the mail yesterday - pretty amusing. Every once in a while someone comes and asks about something and we realize that is another thing Ruth quitly takes care of.

Good news -

I got my temple recommend renewed last night. Joseph babysat for Ruth (Young Womens) and Tom (Missionary Meeting) so I could.

While we were away at those things, Andrw called to report that he and Ben had survived the white water rafting and no sunburn. (hard to believe the no sunburn part.)

The Water Club guy (who turns the operation over to me July 1) borrowed 5 gallons from a neighboring water club. Whew! what a relief!


The day goes on.

Work didn’t go too badly today. Except for Ruth being gone.

Water Club ran out of water again well before the day was through. The other Water Club was completely dry, too. Probably not too happy with us, either.

I worked an hour late and will again tomorrow, maybe even later. Must get all the invoices processed by the 30th. The boss asked us to do overtime on Saturday, but if David and Teresa are here, I don’t want to. Unfortunately, I don’t think I am getting overtime, because I am working off some time I took earlier this month. I am not really sure how that works.

I found my crochet hook on the couch.

The dog enjoyed my lunch. I hope it doesn’t make her sick. Except I didn’t give her the artichoke. Do you think it is still safe for me to eat?

I logged on to my Savings Plus Investment Program which I have had for a whole 2 months. I am investing a whopping $75 a month. I am really going to have an incredible retirement. Especially since I am down $3 in service charges and have lost almost $4.50 on the market. in the market? At any rate, having saved $150, I now have $142.50. That’s progress.

I must go pay bills. My own bills now, not the state’s bills.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Anna is all alone today.

Today, tomorrow and the day after that. With the two cats and two birds, of course. But without humans, which to Anna means alone. Joseph and I are, of course, at work. Andrew and Benjamin are with the Young Men (Teachers and Priests) attempting various forms of suicide.

Today it will be White Water Rafting. From Lotus Park on the South Fork of the American River to Salmon Falls. (Hopefully, not OVER the falls?) None of us have been white water rafting. When I dropped the boys off at the meeting place this morning, one of the leaders entertained himself telling me about various injuries he has acquired while white water rafting and describing some of the rougher points of the river. Thanks, Frank.

At least tonight, they will be staying at a leader’s home about 3 blocks from our house. After that they will be camping somewhere.

Tomorrow, survivors will participate in water sports on Folsom Lake. In a committee meeting recently, I listened to the leaders chuckle over the divers methods they would use to try to annihilate our boys there. Bouncing them off tubes being towed by overloaded boats was mild. Severing heads and limbs with crossing tow ropes seemed popular.

Friday they will climb Mt. Talac from the Lake Tahoe side. This should not be too lethal – if they can avoid wildfires, altitude sickness, rock slides, and exhaustion. Of course, I don’t know Mt. Talac.

Saturday, they wlll be involved in “various activities” in the Lake Tahoe area. When they won’t tell you exactly what they will be doing is the time to be really worried.

Hopefully, I will see my sons alive again Saturday afternoon/evening.

Speaking of seeing sons alive. David and Teresa might come for the weekend ! for Andrew's ordination. They were also hoping to come to attend a friend's wedding, but that is not to be. That's sad, but better to break up before the wedding than after.

Monday, June 23, 2008

By Popular Demand - the Underwater Room in Progress

Ok, one person asked.

Remember, my only camera is my cell phone.

When I was thinking about the boys' room,
I wondered what decorating theme could possibly go with our beat up old bunkbeds and decided they were wrecks - ship wrecks. The boys and I talked about it and decided to go for an under the ocean theme. sort of

It looks yellowish in this picture, but the ceiling is actually a light bright blue. David and Teresa slept in this room when the whole room was that color. I think David said something like, "It certainly is blue. " or maybe "It certainly is bright blue." It was a little overwhelming even though it wasn't all THAT bright.

Anyway, water seems lighter colored near the surface and darker as you get deeper.

This is almost bare naked wood floor. We have a couple of small patches that need to be hand sanded, small holes and some cracks to fill and sand down, plus the edges and corners - even though I pretty much beat the daylights out of the baseboard trying to get along the edge - need sanding. When we finish the floor, we will have to redo the baseboard. We have to decide whether/what color to stain the floor before adding the polyurethane finish (or something like that). I like the blond wood. (white ocean sands?) Joseph and Benjamin want it darker. I don't think Andrew has said. Do we want it the color of the bunkbeds??

The picture below shows where we no longer have termite damage because of Tom's hard work and expertise. If you look very, very closely, you might see the board that is not exactly even with the other. It was totally lose. Tom took out a couple of boards and all the destroyed sub-floor, replaced the supports, and replaced the floorboards. The support board I got didn't fit in exactly right, hence the slight difference. I cannot remember if I am supposed to try to build it up, sand down the others, or (my preference) live with it. It is right under where the sliding closet door will hang.

There should also be a picture of an outlet (plug). When I was sanding, the machine bumped the cord. I thought it came unplugged. Oh, no, it didn't just come unplugged. It busted the outlet. Tom fixed that, too.

And now for the piece de resistence - Andrew painted a fish on the wall. One fish. We are hoping he will add more. We do have some peel-off tropical fish decals, but Benjamin is now voting against them. No word from the other guys.

You may now return to your home shores.


I had been working here for nearly a year and a half when my boss realized (was told, actually, I think) that I am (well, was now)  the first person someone sees when they enter our office.  She doesn't want that!  Really.  She "says" that is because the Office Technician is the one who is supposed to do the receptionist duties and that I should not be constantly interrupted from my duties.  (We don't have one at the moment and I am the back-up, but don't let a little thing like that bother you.)  So she decreed that I would switch work spaces with the Office Tech.   As we don't have one, I moved my pictures and much of my stuff over – making it look for quite some time as if I were taking over the entire area.  A couple of weeks went by.  Every now and then, Boss would say she was going to call IT to come move my computer.  Finally, she said she had called them. 


Thursday, IT guy, Q (Q is for Quoc, cool name) did come and move my computer.  Which, by the by, seems to have corrected a problem I was having not being able to open my Microsoft documents the last few days.


Friday, I didn't come in – that was suit and sander day.


Today, I am slightly disoriented in a new workstation – trying to figure out where things work, adjusting to a new keyboard – not only a different keyboard, but one that is on a tray that pulls out from under my desk instead of one that sat on my desk.  Everything feels a little off.  After awhile it occurred to me that I had not had to take any phone calls.  As it is not at all rare for me to answer nearly 20 calls a day, that seemed a little unusual.


Then the phone crew came to switch the phones for me.  And discovered that the front desk phone - the main office phone (the one the non-existent OT is supposed to answer, but I back up) was not plugged in!  Probably got unplugged Thursday in all the moving.  No wonder things were so quiet around here.


I had asked the boss's boss (the one who laid down the law on radio listening) about doing emails on break time and about listening to music in my iTunes library.  She said emails are ok on break "at this point in time" and that I could use iTunes if I didn't need to access the Internet.  I have been bringing CDs from home to put on the computer.  I put in "Favorites from the Classics – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky disc 1" and the computer popped up with "Pink"!  (Which come to think of it must mean that the computer was asking the Internet about the CD, wasn't it? Oh, argh, rats!)  A couple of my co-workers were going, "Great! Send me a copy!" (which I don't know how to do anyway), but when you go to play "Pink" you get Tchaikovsky.  So I click on this young pink chick to listen to Nutcracker and Swan Lake.  


And that's the break. 


Sunday, June 22, 2008

I think that little by little I'll be able to solve my problems and survive.

I think that little by little I'll be able to solve my problems and survive.
Frida Kahlo, Letter to Nickolas Muray, 12-18-1939
Mexican painter (1907 - 1954)

Deseret Industries had a special suit sale for perspective missionaries. I took the day off work. Andrew & I were there at the door opening. A DI worker, Janet, was very helpful. Brand new $200 suits for $85! We bought 3 -2 identical dark blue/black with pin stripes & a brown one, a few ties, 4 white shirts, some black socks & a belt. Andrew paid for 2 of the suits & most of the ties. I found a couple of denim jumpers and a couple of tops, but alas no shoes. I need walking shoes. A good shopping trip.

Andrew will need a passel more white shirts. I want to get some nice ones. And shoes. I want to get him 2 really good pair, probably both Doc Martins.

We got home just in time for our neighbor to take Andrew to Burger King to thank him for watching her house & watering her yard while she was gone.

I rented a floor sander and spent all afternoon in the blue room, spelled briefly by Benjamin. When Tom came over later in the evening to advise, I showed him a loose floorboard I had found. Termite damage! Fortunately old termite damage - no termites. He said somebody is going to have to go under the house and replace the supporting underfloor in that section @ 4x6 inches. Under the house? the thought gave me the willies and I didn't think the guys would go for it either. Poor Tom said he would do it. As for the rest of the floor, more sanding!

Saturday morning, I bought some more lumbar and an outlet to eventually replace the one that broke when the sander bumped its cord plugged into it (!) & electrical tape to cover the outlet until it is replaced. I sanded some more before cleaning myself up to go to a Ward Activities Committee Meeting. Tom came over & spent pretty much the whole day working on - or rather under - my house. Of course, it would have gone a little faster, but one piece of
wood was the slightest bit too wide. Tom's saw batteries were all worn out. The saw pretty much stopped spinning when it touched the wood. We tried rotating the batteries on the charger, but they didn’t get enough time to charge. In between Andrew running back and forth to the charger, we worked with a handsaw. SLOW going! Finally, Tom crawled out from under the house and called Greg F who gladly loaned us his power saw. That certainly made a difference! Tom finished under the house, replaced the hardware floor slats in the room and then finished sanding. What a guy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Be Still and Know

June 14, Saturday Session Stake Conference

President Craig Norman talked about perspective – ours and God’s.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”

D&C 101: 32 "Yea, verily I say unto you, in that daywhen the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things

33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—

34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven."

The Lord knows all things, we don’t.

We are here to be tested whether we will trust and follow the Lord.

Abraham 3:25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them

We tend to pray for what we want. We need to pray for things to be done the way the Lord wants them done.

Elder Dalin H. Oaks "He Heals the Heavy Laden" October 2006 "Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a "healing" cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are "healed" by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us."

Life is short. 100 years from now, all new people.

--Sister - I forgot her name or position or anythong
63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

64 Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
65 And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.
67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

spiritual experiences are not forced upon us, but must be sought & accepted

--SisterWinkle-temple pres wife
Elder Faust "Tell the people, the temple is for you."
Savior > Nephites: Come unto me & repent that I may Heal you - Savior came to the Nephites at the temple
19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.

--Pres Winkle temple pres
-life is sometimes puzzling, but if we follow direction of prophet, we will be blessed
1 Cor 2:9
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
D&C 78: 18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

Sullivan Ballou letter

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .

Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

Sullivans and Sarahs are waiting to be sealed.

--Elder William F Reynolds, Area 70
part of the onspiration of a prophet is knowing the right questions
-peon & mathematician - A peon who had never before left his village went on a train to the city. Seated beside him was a well-traveled, educated mathematician. M, bored, proposed a game. "If I ask you a question you cannot answer, you give me a peso. If you ask me a question I cannot answer, I give you a peso." P "No, you would soon take all my money." They rode on. M, even more bored, "OK, If
I ask you a question you cannot answer, you give me a peso. If you ask me a question I cannot answer, I give you 10 pesos." P agreed. M "Who is the world's greatest statistician?" P handed over a peso. P "What goes up the mountain on 3 and comes back down on 4?" M was stumped and handed P 10 pesos. P "Now, it's your turn." M "Wait a minute! What's the answer?" P handed M a peso.
-sometimes it's just knowing the right ? to ask
-dreams are positive hopes


-the family dog- When Brother Reynolds was young, the family got a dog. They gave it to him which meant he had to clean up after the dog every day. His mom ran a little business out of the home to help the family income, so he really did have to clean up every day. Loved the dog. Hated cleaning up. When grown he resolved, no dog. He had several sons. Each in turn asked for a dog. "You will have to clean up after the dog every day. To prove that you will do this, you must keep your room clean every day for a year." OK! the boy would say. One lasted a few weeks. One a month or two - made him nervous. One just said forget it. The youngest one cleaned his room. After a few months, there was a dog bowl in the kitchen - waiting for the dog. A couple of months later a dog leash. Still cleaning his room. A bit later a dog book. They got the dog when the year was up and the boy cleaned up after the dog until he went away to college.
-Moroni 7:
42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

-Joseph Smith Jr - meekness-being to accept without complaint, murmuring
Elder Packer said Go home. Find out what the Lord has given you & give it away.
-no hard feelings in Celestial Kingdom
love begets love, pour forth love, cast our bread upon the waters & we shall receive it AFTER MANY DAYS many fold
-Isaiah 58:
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 ¶ Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

we live in a noisy world
take a week, start on Sunday, fast, then all week fast media, listen only to spiritual music, stop all accusations, give up all granulated sugar products, compliment Everyone before you say/do anything else, converse with Lord (like Tevye), extend missionary invitation (church,BoM, meet missionaries), pray for each family member by name daily, bear testimony to someone every day, visit elderly/lonely person you have never visited before,
-hard things are voming, but if you keep the commandments, you need not fear

The Work Day Just Got Longer, but Oh! The Weekend!

Work is drearier now. Our section manager sent out an email reminding us that we are not to use the internet for personal use, including listening to the radio while we work. argh! In fact, the tone suggested without clearly stating that we were not to use the internet for personal use (email) even during our breaks, which heretofore had been allowed. sigh and double sigh! Apparently listening to the radio uses a lot of bandwidth. sigh.

I am going to have to learn about modern technology and see if there is something I can both afford and figure out how to use. When I first started, I brought in a radio, but it got no reception. durnabbit. There is a woman in our office who has a little 2 inch TV for goodness sakes! But she sits closer to the windows.

I know that there is such a thing as downloading on to a device to listen to at will. Can I figure out how to download and get computer time? Should I get a chip for my phone? How long will the battery last? or get an MP3 player (whatever that is)? I am not a happy employee right now. Still, it's a job and a pretty decent one.

What else is/has been going on?

Last Tuesday, for Relief Society Enrichment, first they had a potluck which I missed because I was at the BloodSource, then Ruth did a card making workshop and Brother E did a car care workshop. Ruth had about a dozen busy, happy ladies. Brother E only had 4 or 5, but it was a pretty helpful session. How have I gone this long without noticing that the caps on engine compartments usually have little pictures to tell you what it is? And sometimes what grade stuff to put in. Has my engine always been too dirty? Mostly, I just don’t look under the hood that often. Even though I know that I should, for instance, check the oil every fill-up. I am pretty good about getting in for an oil change by the mileage.

Great things about donating platelets: I have a nice T-shirt collection, I also have a couple of nice blood-drop-shaped paperweight things, they give me snacks, and tell me not to do anything too strenuous for 3 days. I get to sit and watch a movie – last week it was “Walking Across Egypt” (I have daughters that poo-poo Feature Films for Families films, but I enjoyed it and many of their films. We have it at home, too, and I admit FFF edited it, maybe more than necessary.) Oh, and I help save lives. It’s a pretty cool deal.

BloodSource is moving to two new locations later this summer. Sad. They aren’t going to have the fish pond any more and maybe not plants. Some of the blood recipients – hospitals, not actual people – worry that the fish and plants somehow are going to contaminate the blood. I don’t see how that’s likely to happen. I will miss them! The good news is that one of the new locations is at an old paint store that has a kind of sculpture out front – different colors poles arranged in a rectangle. I have always liked it. It is also only about a block from Light Rail – unfortunately a kind of dirty stop with some rather grungy patrons, but I think it is safe enough, especially during daylight. There are some office looking people that use it, too.

Saturday morning I baked cookies for the Stake Father's Day gift. Then I went to the Relief Society President's home where I found a few "new" clothes amongst those someone donated for anyone who could use them.

The boys spent Saturday afternoon/evening with Glen. Playing Halo, of which I do not approve, and attending a River Cats game. Which chiefly meant for me that when I went to Costco, I had to remember to keep myself somewhat in check because my unloading team would be gone when I got home. They had a good time. I took a nap and went to Stake Conference Saturday session without them.

Sunday after Stake Conference, we spent a quiet afternoon. Watched a couple of movies. Did bits of hand work while watching. Such an exciting life, but pleasant.

Ruth came over to use the printer and approved the blue room. Tom came over looking for Ruth, approved the blue room and gave some advice on doing the floor.

Two other exciting things did happen Sunday!

The lesser one: I shook hands with the Area 70 - that's a near General Authority, right? !

The greater was related: Andrew was interviewed, found worthy, and sustained to be ordained an Elder. (It was while waiting during his interview that I shook hands with Brother Reynolds and our own President Fisher while visiting with Patriarch Fisher. I was certainly in great company.) Andrew will be ordained the end of the month. : )

Monday, June 9, 2008

199 Days Until Christmas

A chill went through me when I saw those words today. So I checked my event clock. (Like that would make it better?) Down to less than 198 and a half. I always promise myself faithfully and sincerely that I will plan and buy through the year so that I will be ready for Christmas. Want to guess how many Christmas presents I have ready?

Are you kidding?! I have a beloved granddaughter's birthday coming up in a week that I haven't figured out yet! (Not that I haven't given it any thought!) And there's mail time to consider! I am in trouble.

I have started my home-made Christmas gift for the person whose name I drew. I work on it in bits and pieces – waiting for Light Rail and if/when I get a seat, even standing in line at Costco, sometimes in church. I will probably have it done on time, but 1) will it come out looking anything like it is supposed to? 2) will it come out the right size? OR will I have to start all over again? The uncertainty of success and slowness of the work are why I started in MARCH. Back then I found I had to practice the basic stitch pattern. I didn't actually start the item until April, I think April. Into the 3rd month, I am still far from done.

How come days at work go by so slowly, but weekends speed by? Why does time to work on something like a Christmas project evaporate immediately? Something is wrong with our clocks.

Not much living goes on during the week, although I am trying to do better. It is so easy to just collapse and lose what little is left of the day after work. It is hard to be fully alive and involved, but I am making an effort to do better.

What a weekend we just had!

We had to choose between going on an easy family hike along the American River and picnic with the Elder's Quorum or going to help clean up Girl's Camp. Let's see – get up at a reasonable time, do a little laundry, etc, go on an easy stroll and enjoy free food OR get up early, work hard for several hours, no mention of food, risk missing the Belmont Stakes. I am bad, I voted for the easy morning. No objections from the guys.

One reason for the "hike" we learned, was that we could park free at one point, walk ¾ of a mile on the parkway, and eat at the picnic spot in another park where we would have had to pay to park our cars. It really was merely a stroll. (Had we had to carry food, I would have considered it a real chore, but the food was waiting for us at the picnic area and just walking was very nice.) The boys and Anna left the paved path and took a dirt trail. We went back to the car more or less that way which was easily twice as far. It was a pleasant outing.

We got home just in time to watch the Belmont Stakes. I was as sure as one can be of a horse race that Big Brown would win the Triple Crown. What a shock that he had to be pulled up and finished dead last – the jockey felt something wrong, but as far as I know nothing concrete has been discovered yet.

We completed Saturday by going to see Emma Smith, My Story. That was the quietest movie audience I have ever experienced. In fact, after the movie, some people handed the boys popcorn that they hadn't eaten. Emma is not a snacking movie. People were almost reverent. The only sound in the theater during the entire showing was occasional crying. Or maybe I was just too focused to hear anything, but I think it was really, really quiet. Good movie – well done, entertaining, enlightening, moving.

In Sacrament Meeting Bro Hammond reminded us about Bro. Uchtdorf's talk, A Matter of a Few Degrees. He also talked about doing an orienteering course with his Scouts. The lesson was the same: The further you go on a bearing even a little bit off, the further from your desired destination you end up. We need to constantly check our bearings and make the necessary course corrections to avoid tragedy and arrive safely at our destination.

A paper banner is hanging in Ruth's house that has celebrated Mother's Day, Memorial Day and several birthdays. As each event rolls around, they line out the no longer appropriate word and write in the new one. It is running out of room. Ruth says that yesterday, Andrew's birthday dinner, was the banner's last stand. I think we will be sad to see it go. Andrew, like Ruth, chose BBQ hamburgers, tater tots, and pretzel / jello / whatever dessert. We were a bit behind on Things We Like About, so we had papers for Ruth, Tom and Miriam as well as Andrew.