Monday, September 29, 2008

The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.

Edward Thomas, Poems (1917) "Early One Morning"

There is something dead in the works of our refrigerator.   There has been a growing awareness of some smell.  We thought it might be compost not taken out,  potatoes gone bad, or any number of things.  Alas, no.  Nothing so simple.

Last Friday, we realized it was none of those things – more like a dead thing.  Definitely a dead thing.   and the smell is worse when you open the fridge or the freezer.    So, after my doctor appointment, I took the rest of the day off work.  We completely emptied the refrigerator and the freezer.   We washed the inside.  We pulled out it out and cleaned behind and under it.  We removed the little panel at the back and cleaned what we could.  We did not discover the source of the stench. 

Finally, I called Sears service.  Unbelievably, the thing is still on a service contract from when we first purchased it!  A service man is coming this afternoon.  (Andrew will be the responsible adult. I left him a blank check.  ! ) Hopefully, the service man will find and eliminate the problem.  Also, replace the tubing to the ice maker (which we think "the problem" or a relative chewed through long ago).   I hope it doesn't cost much.  I HOPE he can take care of it.  I don't want to have to replace the thing.  $$$$!

*** Monday, late afternoon  - the technician came and did no more, possibly less than we did.  I think he suggested to the boys that we take it out and hose it down.  (?!)  He didn't open any thing we couldn't open, much less actually probe the inner workings.  Quiet rage and frustration. ok, maybe not so quiet.   I called Sears again, but as the tech has not filed his report, they cannot do anything yet. (more ! !)  I need to call tomorrow.  Meanwhile, my kitchen reeks. And Andrew feels like he has let me down.  Not him, the "service" man!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I wanna hang a map of the world in my house.

I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down.
Mitch HedbergAmerican comedian (1968 - 2005)

Where in the States have you been?

I have been to:

not counting airplane touch downs and drive throughs asleep

visited 12 states (24%)

Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.

William Dement, in Newsweek, 1959

Sariah recounted a weird dream she had last night. So I thought I would share mine.

I "don't dream." That is to say, I almost never remember dreaming. Wednesday night I had trouble sleeping. It seems that nights like that I am more likely to remember my dreams. (?)

Andrew (who did not look at all like Andrew. His hair was even very blond, much lighter than Benjamin's. But it was Andrew. How do you "know" these things in a dream?) and I were in our car (which also didn't look like my car, but maybe? A small station wagon.

Well, first, I think we were walking in this very large (but rather well mown) field. He was going on about how great a place it would be to play some game or other (no doubt one of the on-line role playing games or some such thing of which he is so fond) (The only thing at all like Andrew in this entire dream).

Next thing, we are in the car and he is driving it around VERY FAST and BACKWARDS all over this field. First, I calmly told him that I didn't think it was a good idea because he wouldn't be able to see any holes or other hazards. He just kept driving around crazily. For some reason, I was in the back seat, not in the passenger seat as I should be with a permit only driver. Anyway, soon I am yelling at him to stop, threatening to take away his license, and telling him that I am going to call the police.

After quite some time, we are finally stopped at the side of the road. I am furious. I tell him to give me his keys and his permit and to get out of the car. It takes him a very long time to comply. Before he gets out, he shifts slightly and repeatedly, deliberately spits on the driver's seat. I told him he had to walk home. The end.

The guys thought it was pretty funny when I told them the dream.

The dream in no way reflects what I truly think of Andrew's driving and certainly not his character.

PS – he is recovering well from his oral surgery now and the stitches have dissolved. He still must eat very carefully. If he is eating "real food" he must cut it very small and eat very slowly. (I should be on that plan!) He did scare himself by taking a flashlight and examining his mouth in the mirror. "I have BIG holes in my mouth." He is worried about things getting stuck in there and causing trouble. I told him that the wholes do pretty much fill in eventually. For now, my advice, brush, but gently.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can

afford to live in it.

Ellen Goodman
American journalist (1941 - )

Last night, my good friend Norma called. As we were chatting, something she said suddenly triggered the dim memory of an official communiqué from the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding my health, my driver's license and the word suspension which I may have received while I was so sick back in August. I looked in the too many places I am likely to have put an important document, but found nothing. Mild panic.

Today, I called DMV. Agreed with radio hosts A&G who say that a part of them dies every time they call an American company here in America and are told to press '1' for English to be followed by a directive in some other country's language. Played in more of the phone tree. Finally talked to a real person. Who said that I had missed a hearing!!!! What??! My license was flagged because someone is concerned about how safe I am driving with my health conditions. Did I pass out when I was sick? No. and the notice came WHILE I was sick. Does she want me to believe that a government bureaucracy (without a current budget even) moves that quickly?! Yes, your license is in jeopardy. She gave me another number to call.

Their computer was down. But the guy sounded like a nice person.

Try again. No hearing. Whew! Yet. But, I do need to have my doctor fill out a 5 page form assuring the DMV that I am not a major road hazard and THEN I have to have a hearing with one of the DMV guys. WHY??! Because when I renewed my license the last time, which is supposed to be good until 2012, and I filled out the questionnaire, I checked diabetes and high blood pressure. If I don't get the form back to the DMV by September 26, my license will be suspended. Sigh That's what I get for being honest.

Guess what day the first available appointment with my doctor is.

Yep, September 26.

I called DMV back again and got an extension. I am now good until October 6.

Maybe I had better get my bicycle fixed. While I can still drive to the bike shop.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.

Samuel Butler
English composer, novelist, & satiric author (1835 - 1902)

On 9/11/2001  thousands of people left home in the usual way for an ordinary day, but never returned.  Thousands of family members parted as they always did, not realizing they would never see each other again.   How often do we leave in haste to get to work or to a meeting or attend to some other important business in too much of worry to mend a rift, apologize for a wrong, or just express our love?  9/11 reminds me that we never know.   The daily news confirms it.  Bad things sometimes happen.  We do not know when we leave our loved ones whether we will ever meet again in this life.   Each parting should be in love and good will.  Each return is a cause to rejoice. 
September 11, 2008 Andrew had all 4 wisdom teeth removed.  The doctor said the surgery went well.  Andrew was a bit funny afterward.  He was keenly aware of the effects of the anesthesia.  He kept taking an inventory of what part of himself was or was not working. ( He could hear fine. ) He couldn't talk clearly with a numb mouth full of gauze, so he made signs as well as tried to talk.  Everything rather slowly and deliberately with a sense of amusement behind it all.  The nurse thought he might be sleepy, but, instead he was rather talkative for a while. 
The fun ended a few hours later, when he tried to take the prescribed pain medication.  It just would not stay down.  He had some moments of great discouragement.  He found that applied ice packs brought enough relief to manage.  Later he took Ibuprofen without problem.  good!
Although, Thursday was a bit rough, he did better Friday with ice packs and Ibuprofen.   He even went outside to walk around the yard the way he likes to.  Saturday he felt well enough to go with me looking for sheets to match the boys' room and to attend the Ward 1st Anniversary or Birthday Party.  Even to play with and look after Esther and Jared who were with us because Ruth and Tom were doing a craft booth at the 2nd Saturday Art Walk.  He had to eat very carefully and slowly, but he did ok.  Until the ward dinner, we had been sticking to soup,oatmeal and jello.
I am glad the ordeal is pretty much over!  (Now, I would LIKE the insurance company to decide to cover the all the teeth after all and if they want to be really nice, they can decide to cover the general anesthesia.  Oh well, I should get big points on my credit card!)  Andrew was a trooper.
sigh, we do it again in 3 years with Benjamin.  deep sigh. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.
Saturday morning I painted the baseboards in the sea room - and over painted the test areas in the closet.  I was pretty excited, thinking that we could start moving the boys later that day, but I was forgetting 1) Benjamin has identified spots on the floor that need a polyeurethane touch-up, and besides, we were not just going to the ward activity for a couple of hours and coming back - I am on the committee, so we had to go early and stay late, AND we were babysitting.  Besides, I notice that I missed a bit around the door that I need to go back and paint.  But, little by sometimes very little we are getting there. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

George Eliot, 'Mr. Gilfil's Love Story,' Scenes of Clerical Life, 1857
English novelist (1819 - 1880)


Today is Anna's adoption anniversary.  Happy Anniversary, Anna!  Her present this year is an 11 day sleep over.  Her friend, Tuffy, joined our household today while her people go to Copenhagen to visit their oldest son. 
It is Adam Carolin's birthday (son of Jacob son of Lainee) (I think he is 5).  And one of my Visiting Teaching sisters  - who also sent me an ecard, but I haven't carded her yet.  Better!

Joseph surprised me with a bag of chocolate goodies today.  Debi and Sariah both sent great e-cards.  Sariah sent a snail mail card, too! With a very generous gift to help with Andrew's mission preparation. I have also received a snail mail card from Cousin Carol (or formerly cousin by marriage) and several email greetings from various on-line business/associates.  Such fun!


The sea room saga continues –

Monday night (Family Home Evening), I read from the Ensign while the boys taped around the baseboard.   Last night, they sanded the baseboard while I fixed dinner.  Tonight is YM – actually I think it is YM/YW combined and Ben is in charge.  Maybe we will paint Thursday.  Not Andrew, though. 

Andrew will be doing the invalid bit.  Hopefully not feeling too badly.  Surgery is first thing Thursday morning.  Last night I filled a prescription for Valium for him to take before the surgery so he won't be nervous.  I thought about asking for a pill for me!

We had originally painted the entire boys' room a light, fairly bright blue.  That's the color the trim is now.  When we were trying to figure out how we were painting the sea walls, I tested in the closet.  But!  We didn't paint the entire closet water-like.  So most of it is the light blue and one end is the sea thing.  It has been bothering me, so we had to decide whether to paint the entire closet like the rest of the walls or cover over the test area with the light blue.  Fortunately for simplicity, the boys said they wanted it light blue.  Well, Ben said and no one complained.  We will do that when we do the baseboards. 

Ben also spotted two or three places on the floor which we need to do some polyurethane touch up.  (I hope that works!) 

Then! (finally) We can start moving the boys, although I haven't solved the window treatment problem yet.  Until I do, they will have to survive with the sheet on the pressure bar like David and Teresa have when they visited. 

Oh, my!  Once we start moving the boys in, I lose my "guest room!"   We need to do some major work cleaning, sorting, and - here's the really hard part – eliminating mountains of stuff pretty much everywhere, especially in the family room.  Ok, maybe it is the sorting that is the really hard part.  When we really have a family room, that is where guests will sleep.  Even less privacy.  Oh, well, cheap rates.  Before Thanksgiving!  Oh, no pressure. 

I haven't managed any study time today.  I am hoping to get some in while at home with Andrew after his surgery.

I had planned to take today off and go the coast.  A number of minor complications developed, and I decided to postpone.  I am swamped at work, for one thing.  I haven't caught up from when I was sick and off a week back in August.  Actually, I was on sick leave for a week.  I was "off" most of the month.  Now, I have my accounting class taking 2 ½ hours twice a week and some of my mental ablility much of the time.  Today has been a very busy day full of interesting little problems and challenges.  Actually, I have been enjoying it.   




Monday, September 8, 2008

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.

H. L. Hunt


There are five of us in my office who are taking the Accounting class.  Friday, we got together at lunch and went over the first quiz. We all felt so much better about the class after our study session!!! After comparing and discussing answers, I submitted my quiz first.  We had missed one which we had had some question on.  Mary submitted the quiz next with the other answer we had been considering.  This time we got them all right.  As we had two chances on this quiz, I was able to retake the quiz and get 15/15.  Having study buddies will make a world of difference with this class!  I was so relieved and happy after our session Friday!


Friday, after work, we did the last sand and polyurethane on the sea room floor.  There are plenty of places where we messed up, but it is better than we started.  We learned a bit.  (Mostly that none of us love the work, but…)  We finished too late Friday evening to be able to do any work in there Saturday.    Probably tonight, we will tape in preparation for fixing up the baseboards.  Hopefully, that won't take long.  Then some light? Sanding. And repaint.  While we work tonight, we will probably have someone reading from the Ensign – Home Evening after all.


Saturday, Andrew, Joseph and I spent 4 hours at IKEA.  (this time it was Benjamin who wanted to stay home)  First, we had lunch.  We got a plate of meatballs, a chicken Caesar salad, and a plate of pasta.  We each ate off each plate.  The meatballs (and potatoes) were the best, but not the exceptional experience I was expecting.  I had heard from many people that IKEA has great meatballs.  They were good. We wandered around the store for hours enjoying the different lay-outs and trying to decide what kind of things we would like.  We were quite taken with one room with almost olive green walls and floor to ceiling bookshelves.  Maybe the living room will go green, after all, but not olive.  I will want to match the green in the drapes.  I definitely want floor to ceiling bookshelves almost everywhere, so there will really be very little wall to be seen.  That's a LONG ways down the line, anyway. 


Supposedly, we were at IKEA to find window treatment for the sea room.  We didn't.  We had dessert and then looked some more.  I don't think they had anything that would work for what we want there.  I might look on-line.  We probably have to do it ourselves.   Most shades are open in the up position and you pull down for shade and privacy.  The problem with that is if you want it partly open, you cannot see out but people can see you.   We want to hoist a sail so to speak so that when it is half way open, the boys have privacy but they can see out.  While the shopping trip was not successful in finding something we thought we could adapt, it was fun.  Except our feet got quite tired.  We did buy basic tool kits, both Joseph and I.


We went to Winco afterwards where we spent more money, but it wasn't quite as much fun  ; ).


Sunday, we had a Special Stake Conference.  There was some curiosity about why a special conference.  Elder Clayton (First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) told us he had a big announcement that would change our lives.  He said that henceforth we would only meet on 5th Sundays.  At first, I thought we would have Stake Conference every 5th Sunday which actually sounded pretty good to me, but then I realized that he was having one on us.  He confessed.  No special announcement.  The church just is keeping in touch with its people.  General Authorites are going out and meeting with Stake Presidencies, taking the pulse of the church, and, having conferences so the people can have the privilege of meeting and being instructed by them.  The main message of the session seemed to be a testimony of a living prophet and the importance of following and sustaining them.  We heard more about Joseph Smith, Jr, than Thomas Monson, but that was the message I heard.  Elder Clayton talked about the wonderful growth of the church throughout the world, the blessings of the gospel and obedience. 


We also had my birthday dinner Sunday.  Hamburgers, tater tots, watermelon, salad, and Miriam made an ice cream tort using Moose Tracks ice cream!!! Delicious.  Everything.  Ruth is going to give me the stationary box that she is doing in an upcoming class, along with instructions/template.  Debi gave me a beautiful Willow Tree nativity.   Pretty good for not expecting anything!! 


I decided that I am not doing my birthday beach trip.  On my birthday, anyway.  Many little conflicts.  I will come to work as usual.  (Like most grown-ups do on their birthday.  Ok, kids too.  But I am not planning on bringing cupcakes like kids do to school.) I very likely will bring a left-over piece of that wonderful torte for me to enjoy, however!  Another day.  Andrew and I want to go beach exploring to see what other beaches we might like within drive range.  I also want to schedule a trip to Rodeo Beach, tried and true, when Benjamin can come.  He wants to go, but is responsible for the YM/YW activity on the 10th.  
Miriam has had her last day with Alder Creek Millworks. She says Office Team sounds eager to put her to work. I think Debi also told her about another good temp agency or two. 


Did I tell Andrew's oral surgery is Thursday?  Keep him and Miriam in your prayers, please. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?

Artemus Ward
US humorist (1834 - 1867)
I have said again, but it still oh so true - even 3 day weekends are not long enough.  (Especially when you are old - as David affirms I am (thanks, son)- and slow - which he didn't mention)
We worked on the sea room floor last weekend.  Applied a coat of polyeurathane on Saturday.  Then it sits 18 -24 hours.  Monday we "lightly sanded it" and applied another coat.  We repeated the process last night and hope to again tonight.  Hopefully, that will be enough. Hopefully, we can declare the job done soon  and start moving the boys. (Joseph will be so happy. I say sarcastically. )  After we figure out window treatment.   I foresee a trip to IKEA soon.  We want to rig it so that we pull the shade up, rather than down to close it.  oh, No move yet.  We have to redo the baseboards which got all dinged up by the sander.  They need sanding and repainting.  We probably won't do that this weekend because the floor won't be ready to walk on until evening. 
For fun, last Saturday we watched "Windwalker."  Monday, we (Andrew, Benjamin and I and Anna. Again, Joseph didn't feel like going.) packed up some food and went to the park.  We were going to try to find a park that Andrew vaguely remembers being driven by once that he hadn't been to before.  We didn't find it, his memory of the event was rather sketchy.  We played at Howe Park briefly, then went to Cottage Park to eat where it was quieter and much less crowded.  It was pleasant and relaxing.
One message from Sunday:  Salvation is a personal matter; exaltation is a family matter.   Both Sacrament Meeting where we were reminded of the importance of the temple and temple blessings and our Relief Society lesson supported that thought.  In Sunday School, as we talked about the army of Helaman, we talked about the importance of keeping the covenants we make, and about when is war justified.
Seminary started this Tuesday.  sigh.  I have to be ready to leave for work by 6am.  Seminary starts at 6:15.  Anna was so happy to go for our walk today!  The nice thing is that Seminary lets out now at 7:05 or shortly after, so I can drop Benjamin and Anna off at home and still catch the 7:30 train to work.  That gets me to work in time to "settle in" and to eat my breakfast, or to do some make up time before my official day begins.  I dont' know if it will be enough time to do some studying for my accounting class.   It is so hard to find good study time, especially with computer access.  Our homework, quizes and exams are all on-line. 
I am very frustrated.  I called the oral surgeon to see why the insurance company turned down 2 of Andrew's wisdom teeth. First, P told me that the insurance will only authorize 2 a year.  Irma told me that is not the case.  She thought that if I called the insurance company and talked to them, they might reconsider.  I called but got a rock wall.  I tried calling my dentist office to see if the dentist could say something helpfully persuasive to the insurance people, but the receptionist was not at all hopeful.  She said that they actually usually turn down the top teeth.  She did say she would talk to the gal at the oral surgeon's office.  Although, I don't think she had by the time I called the next day.   I decided to go ahead and schedule Andrew for all 4 teeth.  Both the oral surgeon and even the insurance company said there was a slight chance that the insurance will decide to reimburse me after the fact.  I just don't want Andrew to have to go through all this again in the future if the teeth do give him trouble.  Might as well get it done all at once.   I can pay for it, it's just I had other plans for the moeny - much more plans than money, actually.  Isn't  that always the case? There goes money for the Utah trip? or house repair money which I don't have nearly enough? (same money already, acutally)   We will just take it as it comes.
I am glad to be more financially stable than probably ever in my life except maybe during the brief time I lived alone before I got married.  Poor, barely solvent, but not debt ridden.   What a relief!
I shouldnt' be here.  I need to hit the books and then get to work.   Time!  I am not quite solvent there!