Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not much news

Andrew's sonogram - the good news - his kidneys look ok. the bad news - we still don't know why the protein. He will be going in for more lab tests.

Our home teacher came last night. Not the one who fixed our leaky faucet. We have been reassigned. This one brought dinner! Italian - zita (?), spagetti squash, french bread, and pie. We certainly have been getting better HT's lately! Good dinner, good talk - alot of politics and economics. We kept him too long and his wife finally called. But before that, Tom came over and they gave Andrew a priesthood blessing.

I think the bird is still in the chimney. Ben slept on the couch in the living room so he wouldn't hear it. Which reminds me of an episode in one of the Emily books. (the only one I read so far)

Work time! Happy Wednesday!

There's a bird in the fireplace

This month I have had 1 week I worked a full schedule. There have been doctor’s appointments, dental appointments, and lab tests all month and we are not done yet. In fact I only have time to post - and only a few minutes at that - because I didn't go to work this morning. Today Andrew has an ultrasound. (I will go to work this afternoon. sigh)

In vetting Andrew so he can turn in his mission papers, doctors discovered protein in his urine. He was instructed to drink plenty of water and retest in a couple of weeks. Even more protein. Today an ultrasound. So far we have not actually talked to the doctor since the check up when he first sent Andrew for his labs. Communications have largely been electronic. I have no clue why the protein. Looking on-line only scared me. So, I am trying not to worry about it too much until we find out something, anything. (Your faith and prayers would be appreciated!)

We did find out that Andrew must have his wisdom teeth pulled. I hope he is not quite as nervous as I am about it. (more faith and prayers, please) We finally had the initial consult with the oral surgeon. He seemed quite nice and pretty reassuring. I forgot to ask what this is going to cost me.

Yesterday, Joseph, Benjamin and I had our teeth cleaned and checked. I am so impressed that Joseph had NO tarter. I brush and floss and I always have to have tarter removed. Not big news to you maybe, but I am awed.

Saturday, I went back to the BicycleChef to pick up the bike rack. This time we dealt with the nice people again, although one of the not so great guys was in, too. The nice fellow who sold us the rack, and then put it together and on the car, is the owner. They were a little too busy for me to feel comfortable talking to him about how we felt about customer service last Monday. Joseph and I think we will just make sure we always deal with the owner or Jill. We were glad to have the bike rack when we went to the dentist Monday. Joseph loaded up his bike and I took him straight to work after our appointment.

**Benjamin just told me that he thinks there’s a bird in the blocked off by pieces of wood fireplace in the “family room” (currently bed/storage/computer room). He and Andrew are trying to fend off the cat and dog so they can move the wood and try to rescue the bird. Move the wood and try to catch the bird so they can take it outside.

We had fun Saturday.

Esther had her birthday party - Lilo and Stitch theme. Children played in the wading pools. Everyone enjoyed Hawaiian meatballs, rice and fruit. And another artfully decorated cake.

From one party to another. Perkins Ward had a BBQ and swim party. They rented the pool after hours at a local park. Unfortunately, this park does not reserve picnic areas. Our committee chair went over a couple of hours early only to find that a family had staked out half the group picnic area for a birthday celebration since 6 AM! to use at the same time as us. We had, I think 4 tables and they shared the grill. There were times when our people intruded into their space, but usually moved when enlightened. The birthday party people were pretty patient. Fortunately, a few people brought chairs and blankets. There was not much to for those not going in the pool - except eat and visit which seemed fine - and the WAC chair only planned on one hamburger or one/two hotdogs per person, but it went well. The potluck portion was plentiful - especially cakes and desserts. As long as people get enough to eat, they are pretty happy. The weather was gorgeous. Warm enough to swim, but not hot under the trees.

Church was especially good Sunday.

Good speakers in Sacrament Meeting. A gentleman who was baptized in April shared his testimony. Another brother talked about revelation, especially personal revelation. Without revelation, life would all be guess work and we would wander lost in darkness. We must seek revelation with an honest, open heart. Kimberly Welge, just returned from her mission in Hungary also talked about the blessings of prophets and revelation - as well as shared a couple of experiences.

In Relief Society, Lynda P continued the theme of heeding the prophets. Her family just finished reading (again, I am sure) about the 3 days of darkness when Christ was crucified. They talked about how the people must have felt - the people who had listened to the prophets and known the prophecies as opposed to the people who were totally unprepared. She told us that although it is sometimes scary to hear the prophecies about the last days - our days and days soon to come - how much better it is to know that God has warned us, given us advice and how to prepare, and told us that these things mean the second coming of the Lord is near. Lynda cited examples of prophetic counsel that either had no scientific foundation at the time or was so totally obvious it was almost silly to say, but those who listened, lived and taught these principles in their homes were prepared when society faced evils, temptations and challenges to those principles a few years later. -t he Word of Wisdom; the importance of the family and mother in the home; being careful with our finances, especially debt - We need to listen to the voice of warning and prepare to face without out fear the challenges of our days.

But now, on to today’s challenge of trying to find out what’s up with Andrew.

- The bird is still in the fireplace - actually up in the chimney out of reach. Ben sent down a rope from the roof and secured it hoping that will help the bird go one way or the other. He is going to have to leave it there because he is going to babysit (Ruth is leaving for Stampin'Up convention).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Less Impressed

I took an hour off of work, picked up Joseph, and fought through rush hour traffic to get to the bicycle shop that has so impressed us Saturday. The two people working Saturday were not in Monday. Two entirely different people, indeed.

The guy in the shop heard our tale, took apart the tire. looked at the tube and showed us the problem.

I asked what caused it.

Either a bad tube or it was put on wrong. No problem, he says, I'l put on a new tube and not charge you for the labor.

"Just a minute," I say. "It is either a bad tube or installed incorrectly. We bought the tube from you and your person put it on." (No one had even sat on the bike before it blew.)

"Well, we can't guarantee everything from China. I am being more than fair. I told you I won't charge for the labor. I think that is very generous."

We settled for that, but not happily. When Joseph went to the cashier, he pulled out a twenty. The cashier took the twenty and gave him some money - never stating the actual price and it's not one of those registers that shows the customer what is rung up. He did say how much change he was giving. I think it was considerably less than professional. When Joseph asked for a reciept, he got all flustered and said that he had already done whatever to the register and could not give him a reciept.

It wasn't really BAD or dishonest treatment, not what I would call good customer service. Both Joseph and I left with a sour taste in our mouths. I guess we haven't found our bike shop yet.

After yummy homemade pizza for dinner, we belatedly celebrated ice cream day by cashing in some Pint for a Pint coupons at Basking Robbins. This was particularly nice as lately I have a Moose Tracks fetish and Ben was beginnig to yearn for a little variety. I recently bought Cookies and Cream which the guys really like, but me only so-so. I told the disher - upper that they could have C and C, but that I wanted Moose Tracks. Apparently, he thought I was joking because I got Cookies and Cream. I was disapppointed. Last night, everyone got to have what they wanted. I got Maui Brownie Madness Frozen Yogurt (good, but not as good as Moose Tracks). Two guys got Mint Chocolate Chip and one got I think Pineapple Coconut, something Coconut.

Today, I have an appointment at the BloodSource. Another "pint" !

Foot or rather? Pedal Note

I told my sad tale to a co-worker who commutes by bike year round. She agreed with the bike shop guy that they are not responsible for defective tubes they sell. I find that tough to swallow, but apparently it is accepted in the biking world.

She likes Bicycle Chef and Performance Bicycle (the one I thought was snotty).

Monday, July 21, 2008

"It is better to wear out than to rust out." Bishop Richard Cumberland

The Kernel Season's popcorn seasonings I ordered on-line arrived Friday, so we had a popcorn party. 
One young lad was quite vocal about what he liked.  One ate a lot  without saying much, but he seemed happy.  The third mostly had his nose in a bicycle maintenance book.
Everyone liked "Nacho Cheese."
The boys liked "Chocolate Marshmallow" and "Kettle Corn".  I think "Chocolate Marshmallow" best.  One young man, in particular, decided to eliminate the middle man and just sprinkle flavoring on his tongue, which he also liked very much.
I liked "Parmesan and Garlic" which the aforesaid young man would not even touch.
"Barbecue" was not quite what I hoped for.  The guys didn't much care for it.  I liked it mixed with "Nacho Cheese".  
Now I have to decide what flavors to order more of so we can have some at home and I can have some at work.  It was trying to think of less deadly, expensive snacks for work that got me going.  There other flavors available, including  "Ranch" and "Apple Cinnamon." 
The man with his nose in the bike book was again trying to unravel the mystery of the constant flats.  The evening's working theory was that perhaps the rim strip was too worn and the spokes were poking the tube.  Saturday we visited yet another bike shop.  We have been unhappy with the lack of interest in customer service and some lack of product at some of the bike shops.  We have been to at least 3 other bike shops in the last month.  Joseph went to one in Folsom where they were nice enough, I think, but pretty much out of the way.  The most conveniently located says it closes at 6, but when Joseph poked his nose in a few minutes before - having come straight from work - they refused to talk to him other than to say they had just closed.  The Folsom one served him a few minutes AFTER their stated closing time.  If it didn't make him get home 2 hours later than usual, he would go there more often.  Another shop was just slightly snotty and unhelpful. 
So Saturday, it was the BicycleChef, in midtown, think you call it.  Very helpful even though short staffed and busy.  They were the first shop to be able to put a tube and tire on my bike wheel. Apparently it's a very unusual size.  They also were helpful on the subject of a bike rack for 4 bikes, so I ordered one.  They replaced Joseph's rim strip and tube.  He had them put it on just in case somehow he was doing something wrong that caused all those flats.  Joseph and Andrew put the wheel on Joseph's bike (not on mine.  My bike is rusty and I need to bring the whole thin in fo ra check up. Once I have that bike rack.)  Because I am overly indulgent, they worked on the bike in the living room and left it there.  Sunday afternoon, when no one at all was in the living room, suddenly we heard a loud HISSSSSSSSS and kerclatter.  At first I thought there was a serious boil-over in the kitchen.  But no, Joseph's bike was lying wounded on the floor, the tire totally flat.  What???!!!! 
Today I will take off work early, pick up Joseph and go back to see the Chef.  This is just crazy.
We think Joseph's bicycle is cursed.
Maybe his cat Veloz is sabotaging his bike to try to make him lose his job so he will stay home with her like he used to!  Clever cat, but who is going to pay for her maintenance if her person is unemployed?  Perhaps I should show her the sad Bee article about the shelters being overflowing with cats now - largely because of the housing crises and economy. 
Sunday was ice cream day and we did not eat any.  There is something wrong somewhere.  By the time we thought of it, we were mostly too tired and needed to get to bed so we could go to work so we can afford gas and  bike tubes.  Maybe tonight!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Quick Progress Report

Protect Marriage:

So far, we have read the Proclamation and looked at the website.  I put my name on the email list on the website.  Next, I need to make a (small) donation.  What I don't look forward to, is having to actually talk to people about it. 

Andrew's Mission Papers:
I think Andrew has finally electronically submitted his mission papers.  Although he will still need to send in some medical stuff.  He had his physical and dental check ups and some lab work done.  One of the labs showed protein in the urine. He is supposed to drink plenty of water and go back in a week or two.  Which actually should be later this week.  I guess I better check my schedule.  Sadly, but no surprise, the dentist said he needs to have his wisdom teeth out.  Groan.  We are still waiting for the referral.  I am not looking forward to that.
The Sea Room:

We have made precious little progress on the sea room.  We had to put some wood putty (or filler or something.  I did it, but I forget.) in some cracks.  Now, we have to sand that down.  Andrew and Benjamin have worked on it some, but it is slow going.


Especially as we are just over a heat wave.  And seeing blue sky this weekend for the first time in WEEKS.  Smoke from the nearly 300 wildfires throughout California has filled the valley.  Some days it was like a decent fog – except it was all smoke.  We had several days where there were no shadows, so grey was the sky.  In the midst of that we had a string of 100 plus days.  108 !  I ask you.  And just fans and a little room air conditioner.  We didn't get much done around the house!  Now it is down to the 90s.  What a relief.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Called to Stand

We just got home from a Stake Young Men/Young Women /Young Single Adult Fireside. Unfortunately, we didn’t know it was Young Adult as well as YM/YW, so "we" did not include Joseph who enjoyed a quiet evening alone.

What a meeting!

First, an excellent, stirring talk about the sacredness and beauty physical relationship that belongs between a man and a woman who are married to each other, preferably sealed in a temple of the Lord. wherein two souls - body and spirit - are united.

The Stake President Fisher issued the call to stand with God’s plan for the family. He read again a letter from our Prophet, President Monson, urging us all to do our best to protect marriage. He reminded us that the Church and its members are not anti anybody, but we are for God’s plan. We are not gay bashing. We are defending marriage. We respect the free agency of others. We stand for truth and righteousness. President Fisher asked us to read and study the Proclamation on the Family and to visit Protect Marriage.com
He said it is time to stand.

I thought of the Army of Helaman, the 2000 stripling warriors (Alma 53), of Moroni and the Title of Liberty (Alma 46:12-13), and I thought of the early Latter-Day Saints who were persecuted for their beliefs, but stood firm and faithful through all trials.

The call has been issued. Will we stand? Will I stand? With the help of God, I will.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works, and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Let me just tell you this. Keeping chocolate in your room without air conditioning in triple digit weather is not a great idea.

More chocolate -

If you see a bite-size candy bar sitting on the washer, DO NOT RESIST temptation. Leaving it there is not good mothering.

Joseph took his white shirts and light pants out of the dryer this morning only to find them spotted with chocolate! ARGH!

Andrew did a little on-line research, mixed some detergent and bleach, and submerged the spotted garments. Here’s hoping!

Joseph has been having his trials. Yesterday, ANOTHER flat tire. He seems to get them several times a month, but has not been able to figure out why.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not for the Weak of Stomach

Just because a friend asked, more than once even
(not realizing what (s)he was asking for I am sure!)

Which is which?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Books to the ceiling,

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
Arnold Lobel

The poem fits me well EXCEPT I already have read almost all my books, some of them several times AND I really hope never to have a beard.

But, it has nothing to do with this post.

What a weekend last week!

Andrew was ordained an Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints..

Benjamin has been called as Teacher's QuorumPresident.

Ruth was released as Young Women's counselor and sustained as Primary President.

(Don't I have awesome children?! This is just last weekend's example of some of their awesomess)

David and Teresa came up from San Luis Obispo for the weekend for Andrew's ordination. DT and I went to the temple Saturday morning. They took me to lunch at the Hop Sings Palace in Folsom. We went shopping for shoes for Teresa. That was surprisingly entertaining. Teresa is a fun model.

Saturday afternoon David played with the amazing non-working TV/HD converter set up. He shared ideas with Joseph about what might be the problem and ways to test it. Today, the boys have done all kinds of re-configurations trying to isolate the problem. Individually, everything checks out fine, but when Joseph puts it all back together again, it doesn't work. We have gotten poor reception for some time. With the HD converter box, poor reception equals NO reception. It worked great this afternoon when Ben and Joseph took the converter box up on the roof and connected it up there. Even if the box was an all weather piece of equipment, channel changing would be a tad awkward. Generally, we watch fuzzy TV without the converter box. If we don't figure this out, when TV goes all digital, we will get nothing. not so fun.

Andrew and Benjamin returned relatively unscathed from their high adventure activity. Only somewhat sunburned. I think they had a grand time.

Last Saturday evening, we all went to a High Priest Quorum family potluck in the Welge's backyard (formerly Burr's backyard). Good food. Good People.

We finished off the day visiting over at Ruth and Tom's where we returned Sunday afternoon for a family dinner. And then, sigh, David and Teresa went home.

What exciting things happened during the week?

Fiscal Year End. Big push to get all our invoices scheduled by the 30th. Since I didn't want to do overtime Saturday with David and Teresa here, I started a little early and worked a little late Thursday, Friday and Monday the 30th. Monday, I worked 11 hours and cleared my desk just minutes before the system shut me out for the evening. Despite all the rush, naturally more fiscal 07 invoices came in after year end. We are going to have to accrue them. (Something I don't fully understand, but hey, I'll do what the boss tells me.) Waiting for the special accrual batchlog to be made available, now I find time dragging as there is only so much we can do. I am auditing the invoices as they come in so they will be ready to accrue and schedule when the batchlog comes through. And doing little odd jobs around the office. I wouldn't want to be going full bore like we were coming up to year end all the time, but actually it rather beats the slow time after the first day or so.

Joseph is not quite continually, but all too often plagued by bicycle tire problems. Makes his commute a strain. He is now considering going to solid tubes - if he can find them.

The Stake held its traditional Fourth of July Breakfast out at the Cordova building yesterday. In a stirring testimony, President Fisher reminded us of our legacy of freedom and faith and that it was not long after this country was founded that the gospel was restored. We enjoyed the breakfast and opted not to go watch the community parade. The boys helped load up the tables and chairs from our building and then put them back where they belong. (They had helped load them up the night before. Andrew was up and at our Bishop counselor's home around the block at 5:15AM so he could go help unload and set up. )

Andrew spent the afternoon working for Chris Pena.

Ben and I worked on sanding the sea floor. The guys and I worked on it again today. Who knew that after using a big ol power sander, there would be so much hand sanding left to do?!!! The guys and I worked on it again today. We are beginning to think we should have left the beat up old floor alone. Ship wreck. There are stains that are not going to come out. The worst, naturally in what will be open areas of floor not covered by bunk beds and dressers. Doesn't it figure. I am not sure how much we have to do or how I will know when is done. We patched a couple of holes and cracks. After they set or dry or whatever, we need to sand them. Then sand with a higher grade? Eventually, we can sweep and vacuum repeatedly, followed by a slightly damp mop. Still not sure whether to stain or not - largely because of the stains in the floor. Tom says even if we want the floor light, we should stain it. )- *tongue sticking out* The on-line instructions I read said we could skip that. I sure would like to skip something. Then we do the protection thing. Then redo the baseboards which were totally messed up by the sanding. Will this room ever be ready for the boys?? Will we ever get to the rest of the house?

When I couldn't stand sanding anymore today, I joined Ben's assault on the cliffs. and the volcano grew. Joseph tried to work on organizational projects in his room, but we constantly needed his expertise on thing unearthed. The recycle can is quite full now. (They empty on Fridays.) Innocent visitors would have no idea how much work we have done, so very much more remains. Sad, isn't it?

Last night we decided to stay home and watch fireworks on TV - despite the bad reception. Concern for our animals mingled with a little laziness. We watched the Boston Pops and Washington DC. DC was especially awesome - or would have been if we could really see it well. We enjoyed it. We ate hot dogs, potato salad, green salad, watermelon. cantaloupe and corn on the cob. yummy! We played 13 Dead End Drive. Ben (the Chauffeur) won. He is very good at leading players to try to get rid of people. They had my 3 pieces waltzing in front of the fireplace the first part of the game and then they did all my guys in. Two (the Butler and the Gardener) they finally got in the fireplace, the third (the Cat) got a chandelier dropped on it. We ate strawberry swirl ice cream with fresh strawberries out of blue bowls. The guys didn't want to have blueberries with their ice cream so I made blueberry muffins today.

Thursday, one of my Scouts from old Camellia Troop 40 called because he needs his medical form from last year so he can go to Scout Camp this year. I made a lot of phone calls and emails, but cannot find what happened to those records. In all the confusion and emotion of the ward breakup, we lost track of them. Fortunately, we have a chiropractor in our ward who will take care of it.

Thus I learned that Scout camp is the 14th! Since the ward was organized in October, I have repeatedly told the Young Men leaders who seem to think that Scouting is only for Deacons (they should read that Mormon.org glossary about Young Men) that "our" (now defunct Camellia City Troop 40) older boys enjoyed Scouting, liked helping the younger Scouts grow, AND go to Scout camp. Benjamin, who goes to all his meetings, has heard nothing about camp. The Scoutmaster said that he thought Ben was not interested. I spoke to the Scoutmaster yesterday at the Pancake Breakfast. Ben can still go. In fact, he told Ben today that he was emailing him the necessary forms. Fortunately, I kept a copy of Ben's medical form so we are good there. And the Scout budget - to which Andrew and Benjamin have contributed nicely by working the elections - pays for Scout camp, so I don't have to worry about that.

Speaking of medical. Andrew had a dental check Tuesday. He needs his wisdom teeth pulled. Disappointment, but no surprise. Another sacrifice for the Lord's work. Our dental does not cover being put to sleep for that! Another small investment I shall need to make! Even if Andrew was gutsy enough to face it, I am not gutsy enough to face him going through it. I told him we would have him fully knocked out. "Thanks, Mom." He also had his physical check Wednesday. Now we have to get his lab results. We still have to get his TB test, too. The timing was wrong because of the holiday.

We are slowly getting there. Pretty much covers everything.

It is way past my bedtime and not much likelihood of a nap tomorrow. Now that Ruth is Primary President and Tom is still Ward Mission Leader, they both go to ward council meetings 1st and 3rd Sunday afternoons and I babysit.

Good night.