Friday, August 29, 2008

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.

David Letterman
US comedian & television host (1947 - )
 
 
Which, I suppose, partly explains why I am taking (yet another) accounting class.  That's where the jobs seem to be.  And the direction I accidently fell when I started working for the State oh so long ago (before my hiatus at what I hoped was my true vocation as a mother although some would challenge my competence there).  I am now taking my 4th Accounting class.   I can tell you what I have learned so far.: 1) I don't really love accounting.  Maybe even like much.  2) You can sometimes get an A in a class without ever comprehending the material.  3) I am pretty lucky to work for the state which sponsors the class and gives me work time to attend!  
 
Now, that school is in session again, I am going to have less time than ever for personal persuits or friendly relationships - that is to say: don't expect many interesting posts. letters, emails, etc from me.  Ok, lack of interesting may not be a noticiable change, but ... well, anyway.  I SHOULD be spending pretty much every waking minute studying.  oh  the joy.
 
As school is starting up again, so shall Seminary all too soon.   Benjamin loves Seminary and that's good.  Anna loves Seminary, because I usually walk her while Ben is in class.  I don't love Seminary.  I have been doing the Seminary drive thing for a very, very long time now with few breaks.  That's ok.  But  now that I am a working woman, during Seminary, I have to be ready for work by 6am.  I am away from home close to 12 hours a day.  I get at least half an hour less sleep, and have no real time at home in the morning which usually in the summer when I have it includes catching up the dishes from the night before.  Once Andrew leaves on his mission, Ben may be less fond of Seminary when he realizes that it means more dishes left to be washed.  (Benjamin generally cleans the living room, Andrew usually does dishes)  I get rather grumpy when I come home after work to a sink full of dirty dishes and dinner to fix,  homework to do and then too often, meetings to get people to.  I fear my stamping project may be in trouble now. 
 
Speaking of Andrew.  The dentist recommended pulling all 4 wisdom teeth.  The oral surgeon whole-heartedly agreed.  The insurance company does not.  The insurance will only cover 2 teeth, which will cost me over $400 (insurance doesn't cover general anesthesia).  If we do the other 2 teeth that will be another $841 !!!  I am not sure what we are going to do.  I asked the Bishop and am waiting for him to get back to me.  Do we ask the dentist to revise his recommendation? I wish I had foresight on this.  If someday in his life, Andrew will need those teeth out, we should do it now.  If not, ...well,   we are just doing it to make the mission people happy.  What do they really need?     The kind of money kind of shoots down a lot of other hopes that had not quite made it to plans!  I HOPE I can still manage the trip to the MTC.   Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, right.  Hope so!  I thought just going through having his teeth yanked (with anesthesia, thank you) was sacrifice enough without even getting to the expense!
 
Back to paying bills! Paying State Parks bills to earn money to pay my bills. 
 
Happy "According to Hoyle" Day 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We improve ourselves by victories over ourself. There must be contests, and you must win.

Edward Gibbon
English historian of Rome (1737 - 1794)
 
Contest
 
Sometimes when I hear about a contest offering a trip for 2 or something like that, I have thought, "What would I do if I won?"   There are many people in my life - family and friends - that I would enjoy doing something with and who would probably enjoy a trip even if it was with me.  However would one choose? 
 
Well, I figured it out.  I would have my own contest.  Contestants would have to write What they Like About Me, Barbara.   Now, that's a contest.  It would have to be both very flattering, and here's the big challenge, also believable.  This may take some creativity.
 
I haven't won any tips, yet, so don't panic.  You have plenty of time to think about it. 

The longest journey is the journey inward.

Dag Hammarskjold
Swedish diplomat (1905 - 1961)
 
Night thoughts
 
Dwelling on one's hurts or slights, however real or imagined, brings more harm upon oneself, producing deep melancholy, insomnia, and weakening one's resistance to other ills of body and of spirit, while having not the least effect on the perceived offenders.  In the light of day, one can more easily combats such sorrows with positive thoughts and actions as well as the daily business of normal life.  It is in the still, once peaceful night, that such sadness overwhelms.  What comfort or solace is there then?  Memories of the kindness of loved ones, surely,  Yet, that may not suffice in those lonely hours. If one truly desires peace and not self-indulgent wallowing, one must turn to the One who took upon Himself not only our sins, but our ills, and even our foolish pains.  Is it a sin to feel hurt? I do not know, but I think it may be a sin to fail to turn to the outstretched arm so the great Comforter. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happiness is not itn the mere possesion of money: it lies inthe joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
 
One day last week, on the way home from work, I went to Bel Air for milk.  On an indulgent whim, I bought some stuff at their Chinese deli for dinner.  When I got home, I learned that Ben had baked potatoes and cooked up some meat and chili for dinner.  What a sweet surprise!  (the other day he made me cookies.  Nice guy, Ben) The deli boxes said "safe to microwave."  We popped the deli boxes in the fridge for the next day.  But we didn't test their microwaveability.  We dished up the food on plates and microwaved them.  It was good, but not as good as it cost.  Ben's stuffed baked potatoes were better.  Besides being made with love.

 

It is good to be able to work again – I worked all day every day last week, so I'm back -  but it was nice being at home even if I was sick!  And more interesting.   It is good to be ABLE to work, but I would not at all mind not HAVING to work.  However, as Miriam said, at least I have a job. 

 

I am trying to make better use of my weekends.  Saturdays really.  That's the day with the options. They tend to evaporate with not much to show for them and not much R'n'R either.   I am trying to both get something done and have a little fun.

 

This week we did some chores around the house, including staining the sea room floor.  :/   I liked it better the light, light color before we stained.  It has been a while now since my assistant and I purchased the stain, so I don't remember the whole decision making process.  I think there was a lighter color I liked better, but it was the wrong base.  I cannot remember what was wrong with the base, but anyway we got this one.  It looks like a floor.  It is ok.  Some people learn to enjoy doing the handyman home fix it bit.  Despite the nice quote at the top,  I haven't yet.  I am not good at it, I get really tired and tired of it, and I am not that excited about the results.  Maybe I will be more pleased once we put the polyurethane on. 

 

Years ago Les A told me about a place up at Collins Lake where they serve giant ice cream scoops.  My ball of yarn reminded him of it.  I have been somewhat intrigued ever since and always meant to go check it out.  So, we did, Andrew, Benjamin and I.   Joseph opted to stay home.  It is about an hour and 20 minutes from here.  Andrew and I spent much of the time on the way up singing hymns and children's hymn.  Benjamin suffered in silence.  

 

Collins Lake Resort is a camping, fishing, boating, little bit of swimming place.  The people were friendly.  They charge $11 / car day use fee, but when we told the gal at the gate that we were there to check out their ice cream, she just laughed and waved us in.  For $2 you get a huge "scoop" that must have been at least a pint and a half.  While our tongues raced the melting ice cream, we looked around a bit.  Lots of people apparently having a great time, but I don't think I want to go camping there. (I was almost hoping that it would be someplace I would want to camp as it is not far as far as camping goes.)   It was fun to go up there, but probably a one time deal. 

 

We finally had Debi's and Esther's birthday dinner.   Pizza, lots of pizza.  Ground beef pizza, pepperoni, Hawaiian, and chicken pizzas.  Root beer floats.  Later, cupcake decorating.  I had eaten too much pizza and could not even look at the cupcakes.  I helped bag some Stampin' Up orders, instead.  It is fun to see the neat things people get.  

 

Ruth reminded me that she doesn't think I spent the Stampin' Up gift certificate that Sariah gave me for Mother's Day.  I was saving it, but now! I cannot remember where I put it!  Someplace "safe," no doubt.  Safe from what?! Me apparently.  I hate it when I do that. Time to clean my room!

 

News from the family dinner –

 

Miriam is being laid off.  : 0  Her little cabinet making shop has not been making many cabinets lately and many of the people are being let go, including both office girls.  She works until the end of the month.  She was with the temp service Office Team when she started there. The cabinet shop called for a temp and never hired anyone else. Eventually they converted her from temp to regular employee.   Hopefully, OT will have more work for her.  She is also applying for some State jobs. We are hoping that this is one of those blessings in disguise things.  This job didn't really lead anywhere. Maybe she will be blessed with something better.  (Prayers would be appreciated!)

 

Glen, on the other hand, has landed a part-time job watching security cameras for construction sites.  This is good. He is seriously working on re-ordering his life and finances. He is still working full time for the State.

 

Tom worked all day Saturday putting vents up in the attic.  Hopefully, he will do the same for me some time. And I will owe him (even more) big time! (Hopefully, we will borrow a power saw and it won't take quite as long.) Our whole house fan doesn't do much right now.  Attic vents would make a huge difference, I think, I hope.

 

Ruth is thoroughly enjoying Primary.   She is enjoying her staff and the kids. I think she is surprised how much she likes being Primary President.  I think Sariah likes being Relief Society President up in her ward in Vancouver.  Ben, I think, has more mixed feelings about being Teacher's Quorum President, but he does a good job.   I think that's all the current presidents.

 

And that's all my break time for today.  So much more I wanted to do! Like learn about iPods or MP3 Players or something.  I have made more mistakes at work this month than the whole rest of the time I have been here.  Partly, I think it was my getting sick – just before and when I came back. And I think, partly it is that I don't get to listen to the radio anymore.  I sometimes listen to music that is "ripped" on to my computer, but it isn't the same.  Why talk radio helped, I cannot say, but I think it did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Remember that happiness is a way of travel - not a destination.

Roy M. Goodman
 
One of my frustrations today is that it is Bad Poetry Day. That is something I usually can do.  But, alas! (well, maybe you don't think so) although I am noticeably better, I am not completely well and all my feeble mental capacities are focused on trying to do my job without too many mistakes.  (Now there's a stupid thing to say.  How many mistakes would you say is a good amount?  Actually, any mistakes are too many.) 
 
Yes, I have returned to my place of employment and am attempting productivity. 
 
I found out that the one job I struggled to do during the short time I was in Thursday, I completely messed up on and a co-worker had to undo.  It could have been worse.  I enter data into the computer to print automated checks from the revolving fund - often travel expense claims, sometimes emergency vendor payments, those kind of things.  I struggled Thursday to carefully key in the entries. I was unable to print the checks because our check printer is on the fritz.  (Is that a racist thing to say? The check printer is kaput.  I was told the fix-it guy would be in with the part at noon, but I could not last that long, so I turned it over to someone else. BTW, the check printer is still out.  The part was the wrong part and another one is on order or something.)  Anyway, I came back today to find out that they had moved the work baskets around (before I picked up Thursday).  Where I used to pick up the documents to key the checks from, they now had documents whose checks had been completed!  I had keyed in a whole set of duplicates!  It is a good thing that the check printer didn't work. 
 
I am able to work, if I go slowly and think carefully.  I only have a coughing fit every now and then.  I hear others here and there, as well.  No one is getting too close to anybody else.  A nice co-worker brought me a couple of cough drops.  (I forgot mine).
 
Saturday was a strange day.  I was feeling sick and lazy, but wanted to have things half decent when the campers returned.  I swept up most of the dog hair and made soup and biscuits. I also worked on the pacing for Ben's textbooks for the school year.   I posted a warning sign on the door.  "Hazardous Dwelling - Occupant May Be Contagious - illness includes throat tearing cough that last for days - Avoid Direct Contact - No Hugs"   I was home all day except between 5:50 - 6:15 when I did a quick run to the store for milk and Sacrament bread.  Guess when the guys got home.  timing.  Two of them failed to see the sign.  One said he saw it but immediately forgot it.  Nonetheless, we avoided close contact. David and Teresa arrived a bit later.  It was good to see everyone - only slightly sunburned - and well content with their week.
 
A high event of the evening was watching the incredible women's marathon at the Olympics. Halfway through, I could not believe Romania's Constantina Tomescu Dita was going to even survive the race.  She was far in front of everybody else, but she looked horrible. I was afraid for her.  But somehow she pulled it together and started looking better.  For much of the race nobody else was in the same camera shot as her, even when the camera was looking straight at her head on on a long straight away. It was amazing. And when she entered the Bird's Nest, she just filled with new life.  I thought it would be daunting to have to go a whole lap around the inside, but she fairly flew.  And then she just didn't stop running.  She ran around at least another time, and I think more, on her victory lab.  What a happy looking woman she was.  
 
I stayed home from church Sunday,  after spending much of the wee hours with my hacking cough.  David and Teresa returned after Sacrament Meeting to load up the car and we got to visit a little more. Then dinner and they were off for SLO.  It was sure nice having them.
 
I lazed around the rest of the day and worked on my cards.
 
Now I have over taken my break time.  Back to that great productivity.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Think of life as a terminal illness, because, if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, 2000

I did return to work Thursday, neither restored nor invigorated.  The most vigorous thing about me was an not-intermittent-enough hacking cough.  Three supervisors and numerous rank-and-file co-workers urged my departure.  I only stayed little over two hours.  I did find out that the doctor note requirement is up to the supervisor's discretion.  My boss is not going to ask me to go to Kaiser for a note - so far. 


Home again today and still feeling very lazy.  The cough has been quiet for a few hours now.  Good!  My throat feels absolutely raw from it.  Every once in a while I get a sneeze or a regular cough instead of the deep tearing cough series.  Hopefully, that's a transitional sign.

I had big plans of things to do with the kids gone and my duties light.  sigh. Not happening here.  I stripped my bed today and washed the sheets.  Now, I am hoping for strength to remake the bed.  Otherwise, there is the couch and I will do it tomorrow.

I am working on my card sets to give.  6 per set times - what? -a dozen people is an awful lot of cards. I am not half way to goal.  And I can think of many several friends that I would like to give gifts.  Family and VT, first. Trust me, you are not missing out on much! 

Bah, humbug! I haven't designed my Christmas card yet. I always promise myself 1) that I will start early, but here it is August already and no plan,  and 2) that I will cut my card list to a reasonable size, but it just keeps growing.  I don't like to take people off.  Even if it is my only contact with them all year, they are people that have touched my life and that I care about.  I need to make extra cards, too, and early, to send to Elder Robarts  to use - provided we have managed to finally get him out on his mission!  (Still no word from the oral surgeon.  I think my note is to call the 18h if we don't hear from them.)  Anyway, I need to get cracking on my Christmas cards - plan (not a good day for it, still non-working brain), order supplies, and get started.  It had better be a simple one.  So much to do!  It is "only August" but I am feeling the pressure.  There are too many things I want to make, even though they are mostly simple. (And only ideas for about half my people, anyway)  I don't know if I will manage it. The boys and I have decide whether to try orange marmalade again, too.  I originally pictured orange marmalade being instead of other gifts, but somehow it doesn't seem nearly adequate.   Especially as it never did set.

oh, the wretched cough again!

The kids come back tomorrow.  I will be glad to see them, but do not want to share this bug and am not looking forward to the little responsibilities.  Maybe tomorrow is the day I wake up hale and healthy.  Would be nice.  It has been nice not to worry  about them while they were gone. I am confident that everyone is looking out for each other and that they are having a great time.  I am like an animal that just wants to hole up and be alone when I am sick.  Did my body deliberately time this illness??? Is that possible?  I have in past times in my life noticed that I usually tend to only get really sick when I can "afford" the time.  So, am I blessed to be able to resist illness when the need is greater, or am I somehow subconsciously a fake?  Believe me, if I was going to fake an illness, I would omit the throat tearing cough!

I am going back to my cards now.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.

Rabbi Harold Kushner
But that didn't happen today. Here's hoping for tomorrow.

I didn't go to work and Anna and I did not go to the coast today. I stayed home sick again. The charm of it all is beginning to thin. I, however, am not.

I picked up my crocheting and saw that I made a couple of mistakes yesterday, so I had to rip out what I had done. I have been hesitant to work on it again right yet.

Despite that warning, I spent some time today working on a Stampin' Christmas project. Let's hope I am not wasting paper! For some reason, I thought it would be relatively simple to make a bunch of greeting card sets (maybe half a dozen cards each?) to give to people like my Visiting Teaching sisters. I don't have Ruth's knack for planning and organizing projects. Then, too, it is easy to add names to the list and could get out of hand. And I am a little slow. But it's "only August." We will see what I can do.

I am planning to go to work tomorrow, but I don't really feel very smart or energetic. I will give it a good faith effort. At the moment, though, I don't rule out coming home early again. At the moment, I cannot guarantee going in, actually, but it is the plan. I wish I could remember how much time you can be off sick without a doctor's note. Maybe I will ask tomorrow (when I tell my boss I am going home again, if it comes to that.) I am not sick enough to go to Kaiser, just sick enough to be fairly worthless. Or more worthless than usual. Here as well as there, durnabbit. Here I am with time at home, but unable to accomplish anything.

I am so thankful that I am not totally wretchedly sick, just tired, coughing, dull, hot, slightly but not terribly achy kind of sick.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Start every day off with a smile

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.
W. C. Fields
US actor (1880 - 1946)


As Monday morning wore on, I realized that I was feeling more than just tired. But was I just talking myself into being sick? As I caught myself on the verge of stupid mistakes, and had trouble coping with a couple of mistakes I had made Friday (I was pretty preoccupied, I am afraid.), I decided that perhaps I should go home, after all. First, I wanted to make sure that DT&J were well away before I got home. I didn't want them to worry. Second, there were a couple of important things that I needed to take care of before I abandoned my post, especially as I suspected that I might be gone a day or two.. Finally, I left about one.

At home I found parts of a bird in front of my door. Never pleasant, especially when already queasy. I left it to deal with later (which I did either last night or this morning, I forget) and holed up in the house. Just being home made me feel better. Also, true to my self- promise, I had some Moose Tracks ice cream.

I stayed home again today. Sick enough to not be good at work, not too sick to enjoy taking a little leisure. I have done a little bit of work here and there around the house, but although I am good for a little, I am not good for much. When I am feeling on the slightly better side, I suspect I am gold bricking, but after a bit of activity, I decide not so much.

I watched some Olympics this morning-early afternoon and did a little crocheting. Sometimes dozing off. Now that coverage is over for a bit, I do wish I knew how to watch a movie (Teresa brought a few I would enjoy and we have quite a home library), but I cannot figure it out. I thought the correct wires were connected, but I don't know, no button I push gets a picture to the TV screen. I guess I should consider myself lucky I have gotten any reception at all and that now I am managing the internet. Thursday when I went to log on, we found out that the router wasn't working. Actually, the power something. Adapter? Joseph and I went tiredly to Radio Shack and found out that an adapter would cost almost as much as a router (which would come with its own adapter), so we bought a wireless router. I am hoping someday to have a use for it (ie a laptop). Fortunately, Joseph got the router set up before he left - and here I am. I had imagined my tech team being gone for a week and me unable to use the computer or the television. I should do some bill paying and bookkeeping. And work on my Suze Orman Save Yourself program. later.

I want my head to clear a little more so I can work on a Stampin Christmas project.

I do feel lazy.

I wonder if a trip to the coast tomorrow with my dog would have curative powers? I had thought about taking a day off this week for Anna and myself. Maybe I will tomorrow as part of my convalescence. If I feel safe to drive and stray from familiar plumbing. Then,Thursday, I shall return to work restored and invigorated.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"A smile is the shortest distance between two people." Victor Borge

It was delightful weekend, despite the lack of sleep.

David called Friday evening around 8 or 8:30 and said that they were probably about 3 hours away. A smart person would have gotten a little sleep before they were due to arrive. I watched the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics (awesome) and worked on a Christmas project. Joseph watched Olympics a little and worked on packing for this week.

David and Teresa arrived a little bit after midnight and then we all sat around talking for two hours.

Saturday morning, David, Teresa and I went to the Bishop's Storehouse / Cannery and did dry pack canning for the first time. The presence of a bossy, negative type person made the experience less pleasant than it might have been, but we learned how the dry pack canning works and made a small contribution to our emergency food supplies.

Following a quick lunch, Teresa and I went to Ruth's Mystery Hostess New Catalog Stampin'Up Party. Miriam and Debi were there too, of course! Enjoyed it thoroughly and we can hardly wait for our orders to arrive.

The rest of the afternoon just sort of evaporated in pleasant visiting while D&T waited to hear back from Glen about them going over to visit. (They eventually agreed to go visit Sunday evening. ) David and Joseph are so fun to see get together. They love to talk about techie things that many of us don't get or really care about. We played Crack the Case. I don't remember what else we did, but we stayed up too late doing it. It is so pleasant visiting with them.

Debi (and Chloe) picked up Andrew and Benjamin right after Sacrament Meeting. The Californians, except David, Teresa and Joseph all left for Fort Bragg Sunday morning. I hear that the Rosers were over-nighting down Sunday night and, wonder of wonders, meeting up today with Sariah's best friend Heather whose family is just finishing up a Fort Bragg visit.

Before they went to visit Glen, we watched "Becoming Jane," a quasi-biographical movie about Jane Austin. Enjoyed that, although it's a sad story. Teresa helped me with ideas on one of my Christmas projects.

Too soon, the weekend was over. We had morning prayer and I came off to work. (This is going to be a bit of a rough day as adding to my tiredness is a stupid night of insomnia and a touch of allergy or a summer cold or something! Good thing I am not facing a 5 hour drive!) David, Teresa and Joseph will be heading out soon. I will see them again Saturday sometime. I am not actually sure about the rest of them, but I think they are returning Saturday as well.

Now, to work!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. - Patricia Neal

Update on the Bicycle Chef -
The bike rack started wiggling frighteningly. The pin was working it’s way out! Fortunately, I had the lock on order which would replace the pin and not have that problem. When we picked up the lock, and while he put it on for me, I told the owner about the pin coming loose. He was glad to get feedback, especially as he is going to a convention soon and can talk to the supplier. But, it is a moot point, because since I ordered my rack, they changed their policy and automatically include the lock in the (now raised) price of the rack. Perhaps they were aware of the problem already.

I also spoke to him about Joseph’s never ridden tube that went flat on him. He thought perhaps his staff had misunderstood because sometimes people try to return tubes after riding on them a couple of weeks. I think not, but let it slide. Joseph was in to replace yet another tube –at least this one had a thorn in it, and the boss gave him the tube and had them put it on without charge to make up for the other time. He understands customer service.

Joseph and I are pretty happy with the Bicycle Chef – as long as we deal with the chief Chef himself, or maybe Jill. I forget, I think she is the maĆ®tre d.

In other news….

Today Andrew and Benjamin are at Encampment – some (big?) LDS Boy Scout camp thing. It’s supposed to be great, but I know little about it. Andrew left yesterday and Benjamin left this morning. They come home Saturday. I miss them – even though I am at work.

Friday, David and Teresa will drive up from San Luis Obispo for the weekend. : )

Everyone wants to do laundry Saturday! This could get interesting.

Saturday I (and maybe Teresa) will also be going to the Bishop’s Storehouse and Cannery and doing some dry pack canning for our emergency supplies. First time for both of us.

Immediately after that, we will go to Ruth’s annual famous Mystery Hostess Stampin’ Up New Catalog Party. Hmmm... Stampin’Up does 2 catalogs a year now. Is the Mystery Hostess Party semi-annual now? I can’t remember.

I got a sneak peek at the catalog while I was babysitting Wednesday evening. When she got home, Ruth showed me some of her stuff from convention. It could be worse (because I already have so many great stamps) but I am in trouble. $ ; ) I am counting my pennies. I could easily order my own party here. (Easily, looking at things I like. Not quite so easily, but temptingly possible, coming up with the moolah.) Some of the new sets I really like will be on discount!

Sunday, after Sacrament Meeting (Ben had to campaign for Sacrament Meeting), Debi and Benjamin leave for Fort Bragg. Monday, the rest of my children head there. They are all spending a week together. I was specifically not invited. I am a little hurt, sad, and jealous, but expect to live. I couldn’t have afforded a week of vacation time anyway, but it would have been nice to be included and spend a little time there with them. I love Fort Bragg. My favorite people are going to my favorite camp site in my favorite state park. (Not that I have been to that many state parks to compare, but I really like MacKerricher! ) Poor me.

I think I am going to take a day off work while they are gone. My dog and I will go to the coast in the Bay area for a day. I have been wanting to do some exploring to see if there is another beach relatively handy that I like as much as Rodeo Beach.

I also intend to eat Moose Track ice cream. Maybe every day. And salad and hamburger. or if I feel particulary indulgent, some steak.

Mostly, though I am saving up vacation time for when Andrew gets his mission call. I am planning to drive him out to Utah and spend some time visiting friends and doing the tourist bit. Hopefully, Joseph and Benjamin will come, as well. We might visit Mr. Mac’s for a suit for Andrew (finances permitting!). He has 3 suits from DI (which we still need to get hemmed), so he doesn’t really need another suit. But Mr. Mac has nice suits and records all your information so if you need something replaced they can do it to match.

We will definitely spend some time in Temple Square and the new (what is it called?) Convention Center (?). I hope we can maybe hike a little in Provo Canyon for old time’s sake. I used to go there to get away during my brief stint at BYU. Maybe look around campus a bit and see what has changed in the last 30 + + years. I don’t know what else we might want to see. MTC check-ins are on Wednesday, if I remember correctly. I am thinking that we will drive up Friday-Saturday and then have Sunday – Tuesday there. We will probably stay with friends who moved from this area. (love the L's) I am hoping that my friend and I can go see Stampin’Up Headquarters. I am not sure if Andrew will be interested, so I might do that after we leave him at the MTC.

We have not done any work in the sea room since I last wrote about it except a little more sanding. I think we quit. (Ready or not) I bought some stain and some polyurethane. I don’t know if I am going to work on the floor while they are gone or not. Probably not. I am always tired after work. And I would have to lock the animals out of the room, of course. They will already be crazy lonely. And I think I would feel pretty sorry for myself working away while they all play at the beach. I have lots of things to do besides the floor, so it will probably wait a little longer.

It is almost time for the school year to begin. Oh the excitement. Even Benjamin groaned when I mentioned it. I don’t look forward to losing my few minutes extra sleep and extra time at home I got without Seminary. Anna will be glad, though. I usually walk her around the church neighborhood while Ben is in Seminary. I haven’t walked her much this summer – so much to do at home! Joseph needs to decide what class to take and get signed up. I am almost certainly taking Intermediate Accounting (blegh!) – in my work building, during the work day! What a sweet deal. I lose my lunch time, but past instructors have allowed us to eat in class. I don’t feel smart enough, but I have gotten A’s in the preceding classes. (Not that I remember any of it!)

The boys and I read the first couple of chapters of Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson before they got tired of the author saying the same thing over and over again in slightly different ways. The message is profoundly moving. He tells a tale on his wife – who, if I remember right, was a young mother who in one year just had her 3 or 4th child, completed a degree at university and was Relief Society president –and, here’s a big surprise, got burned out. She couldn’t do it all. She couldn’t be perfect in every way all the time. She just felt like quitting. Stephen says the problem was that she was trying to be perfect NOW on her own power. That she thought she HAD to be perfect now in order to become celestial. Stephen says no way can we be perfect now, but good news! We don’t have to be; we have a Savior. We only need to do our best and He will take up the rest until someday in eternity we can become perfect.

It is a great comfort.

Except I still have a problem/struggle with “do our best.” What does that really mean? I try to be good. But do I do my best? Do I ever really do my best? No matter how hard I try, I always have the nasty feeling that I could have, should have done better, tried harder. Maybe I need to read this book some more. I have read it before, but I need refreshers. Maybe I need to try harder. ; )

Lunch break is over. (and I only snacked. Bad, bad, bad) Must return to earning my keep.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Clear!

After Andrew's fasting labs yesterday, his doctor emailed him and said there's no more protein in the urine.  Whatever it was is gone!  Praise the Lord! Thank you for your prayers and support.